Entrepreneurship and innovation for economic growth
Published: 10/04/2017 12:00 pm
Shatha Al Maskari
Managing Director ,Protiviti, Oman
Today, any nation will enjoy economic growth if it is powered by innovation. It’s not that simple, but it is that real. We need to start with two key things: acquiring smart talent and creating an environment for new discoveries. Progress and advancement depends on human capital because they have a direct impact on economic development. Skills, knowledge, and innovative capabilities form one part of the equation; education, environment, development interventions and support programmes constitute the second part. They complete the core qualitative factors that shape the potential of our human capital.
We must focus on producing future skills by drawing on the strengths of our local talent, breeding new skills and bridging skill gaps by importing foreign talent and exporting local talent. Quality is the magic word for any service, product or experience, and in today’s age this requires attracting mindful, energetic and optimistic talent, and more importantly technical talent who are productive and diverse.
Any long term intervention means a lot of work. We can start by developing intensive and longer term programmes to develop innovative skills in science and technology, continue promoting SMEs and thriving entrepreneurs to catch up with leaders in business innovations and make the financing of innovations easier. An all-inclusive environment which is receptive to disruptive new ideas will enable us as a nation to shape a new mental attitude which takes a deep dive into disruptive innovations. This would result in more patents which would support economic growth and job creation.
We must embark on harnessing technological advancements to boost productivity, enhance quality of products and services and enrich customer experience. However, market leaders need to shape innovative mindsets and arm themselves with skills which necessitate unconventional thinking. This will give rise to a new culture which embraces the adoption of doing things in modern ways.
We must also build expertise by investing more in research and development and cultivate a deeper focus in promoting export-oriented industry clusters. We need leaders to become more interactive across industries, universities and research institutions. We need investors and game changers who can catalyse and accelerate technology development. We need industry leaders to implement disruptive technologies and experienced workforce to adopt innovations and skilled developers to create innovative solutions. Innovation is a long term process, but it will guarantee economic prosperity and global competitiveness due to its dynamism and inclusiveness.