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Traits of a Successful MENA Entrepreneur

The success stories of entrepreneurs making it big with a small idea are plenty, especially in a country like the UAE, where SMEs contribute significantly to the economy. Undoubtedly, after hearing all these stories, anyone with a hint of an entrepreneurial streak has thought of going it solo at some point or the other. The problem, however, often lies in getting started. What it is it that makes one idea successful over another? According to Najla Al-Midfa, senior manager, entrepreneurship development, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, the key lies in execution rather than the idea itself. "In today's world, especially in consumer-driven businesses, innovation is in the way you deliver the service/product." Loulou Khazen Baz, founder of the online skills marketplace, agrees, saying that while the idea is important, it's not everything. "There's a saying that it's better to invest in a B idea with an A team than an A idea with a B team." Baz, who had previously won AED1 million on reality show 'The Entrepreneur' continues: "The best ideas can fail if the people aren't right," she adds. If it's the person that makes the business, what defines a good team leader?

Al Midfa points out that there are a few traits that are common among successful entrepreneurs.Passion: Why do they want to start their own business? If it's just to make some extra cash, "it shows". Those that are doing it because they are passionate about their idea make for successful entrepreneurs because they give the business all they've got. Flexibility: Entrepreneurs need to be flexible and adaptable. This is sometimes difficult to maintain a balance of the "two-edged sword" since on one hand, they should be persistent and tenacious, never giving up on their business, but they do need to make changes when necessary. Daring: If there's one thing entrepreneurs need, it's to have the courage to take risks when necessary. Observant: To be truly successful at starting up a business, entrepreneurs need to be able to spot opportunities and see the potential in everything. Receptive:  Unlike some who feel they "know it all," successful business owners are those who listen to feedback given to them and take it into account, making changes where necessary.