LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, announced the global launch of Open for Business, a new feature that allows freelancers and small business leaders to add their services to their LinkedIn profiles, making them discoverable from a LinkedIn search.
The global feature launch kicked off with an event that took place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and in the presence of His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Allen Blue, Co-Founder of LinkedIn.
The event is the first of its kind for LinkedIn and demonstrates the platform’s commitment to supporting SMBs and freelancers across the world through a product that is aligned with Dubai’s keen support for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
.@LinkedIn, a network of 660 million users, has chosen Dubai for its global release of its ‘Open for Business’ feature, which aims to be a breath of fresh air for freelancers and small businesses. The selection of Dubai is testament to the formidable business status of our city.
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) November 4, 2019
His Excellency Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai, said, “Dubai’s status as a global hub for entrepreneurship, innovation and smart solutions is a result of the visionary outlook of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which seek to create a progressive ecosystem that is conducive to the growth of small and medium businesses and economic development.”
He added that the LinkedIn Open for Business launch in Dubai is testament to the emirate’s position as a trusted global economic and investment destination.
In closing, His Excellency Abdulla Al Basti said, “Support for small and medium enterprises is a critical pillar of Dubai’s economic policies and strategies. Open for Business aims to address the challenges these companies face in reaching potential clients. As such, it is a catalyst for growth that enhances the role small and medium businesses play in boosting the local economy and increasing its competitiveness while leaving a significant mark on the global economy and enhancing the business environment in Dubai.”
The Open for Business tool allows freelancers and small business owners to promote their services to the 660 million worldwide members of the platform. The feature complements existing tools and underpins LinkedIn’s vision of creating economic opportunities for every member of the global workforce, be it through business development, acquiring new clients, recruiting exceptional talent or expanding their network.
Allen Blue, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, said, “Small businesses and freelancers play a critical role in the growth and future of our global economy. And with 660 million members and 30 million companies on the platform across the world, LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to help them be more productive and successful, whether they are based in Dubai or Dundee. We developed this feature with a global mindset and are delighted to launch it from Dubai, a region in which there is a lot of focus on supporting a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem”.
In 2018, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visited LinkedIn’s regional headquarters in Dubai and was briefed on its regional operations and plans to support innovative businesses. During the visit, he reiterated Dubai’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurship through economic stimuli that facilitate business activities and attract talent.
Through its supportive infrastructural ecosystem geared to boost the private sector and enable small and medium businesses to thrive, Dubai has established itself as a global hub for entrepreneurship and innovation.
According to figures from the Dubai Statistics Center, small and medium businesses contribute to more than 47 percent of the UAE’s annual GDP and represent 95 percent of companies in the country. Early-stage startups make up nearly 50 percent of companies registered in Dubai.
LinkedIn users on the lookout for freelancers or services can now search and filter through Open for Business members to locate the most suitable providers. Once members appear in search results, people can view the full list of services they provide with a link to their company page, if available, as well as send them a direct message in case of further inquiries. The feature also allows members to ask their network for service provider recommendations.
To mark the launch, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, located in the heart of Dubai, was illuminated with the LinkedIn logo.