Beehive, MENA’s first regulated peer to peer lending platform, has released an insightful new report revealing the state of MENA’s SME ecosystem.
The report is based on quantitative and qualitative SME research, including a survey of 175 SME owners and senior management and a roundtable of 13 prominent SME founders / CEOs.
Key findings from the report include:
• Surveyed MENA SMEs have more women in senior positions than the global average.
• 28% of respondents see innovation as a priority for growth, yet only 2% of business owners are currently trying to access finance to fund it.
• SMEs offer young people a great opportunity for development. 48% of SMEs would hire someone under 25 with no experience.
The report focused on key areas that impact SMEs such as talent acquisition, innovation and growth factors. The survey results showed positive indicators such as SME appetite for market expansion and the opportunity for women in business.
The region also fares well as a leading destination for young people to start their careers in start-ups and SMEs. This popularity has the potential to establish MENA as a hotbed of budding entrepreneurs.
In the report, SMEs highlight challenges and areas where they feel they could benefit from more support initiatives to help them drive growth, such as innovation. They also talk about new ways of working in order to stay competitive and take advantage of business opportunities.
The report is released as Beehive celebrates a key milestone of five years of operation. Launched in 2014, the company has grown from a start-up to become leading fintech SME in the region with a team of 30 in the UAE and a further 17 employees in Thailand. The company has also recently expanded to Bahrain and has further exciting expansion plans in 2020.
Craig Moore, Beehive CEO commented: “We’re delighted to be celebrating five years of operation in the region and very much see Beehive as an SME for SMEs. During our five years we have amassed a significant amount of data which gives us an invaluable insight into the SMEs landscape. This report digs deeper to assess their business challenges and opportunities, as well as their attitudes and opinions as SME owners and senior management.”
View the full report here.