Abu Dhabi Forum on Entrepreneurship to spur UAE's SME segment


Best in-class practices and proven local initiatives for the broadening of the UAE's enterprise base will take centre stage at this month's 'The Abu Dhabi Forum on Entrepreneurship', as the event looks to catalyse the country's fledgling small and medium enterprise (SME) segment.

Running April 12th-13th, 2010 at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in the UAE capital, the inaugural event, which is presented by Abu Dhabi University (ADU) and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and sponsored by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), is being earmarked as a key learning platform for entrepreneurial development of the country's local and expatriate populations - a critical facet in future national economic growth.

"Entrepreneurs are heroes, heroines, warriors and mavericks and they are the drivers of necessary change in organisations of all types and sizes, while entrepreneurship is a human creative act requiring vision, passion, sheer guts and determination. The Abu Dhabi Forum on Entrepreneurship allows local citizens and residents alike to explore avenues which will help them start their own businesses in the UAE,"said Tim Atterton - one of Australia's leading facilitators of entrepreneurship and the forum's keynote speaker

Atterton will talk about the 'DNA of Entrepreneurial Success: The Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs and New Business Ventures' and will highlight factors that differentiate highly successful entrepreneurs, their behaviours and business examples from 40 different countries across the world.

In addition, event platinum sponsor Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC), will focus on helping Emiratis maximise their business potential by showcasing key learning milestones from its currently employed entrepreneurship strategy programmes.

Being led by ADTC's Senior Consultant, Dr. Ali Hassan Alfageeh, core areas addressed at the forum will include entrepreneurship course overviews, vocational awareness campaigns, leadership camps and women in the workplace research to empower young Emiratis. The council's Tawteen portal, which provides online support and connections to the private sector for aspiring local entrepreneurs, will also be a focus.

Also at the forum will be ADU's Abu Dhabi Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, a support system that provides aid to young locals in creating new businesses in the country.

Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor of ADU, will use the forum to outline how the Center encourages potential entrepreneurs to commercialise academic innovations into the marketplace, the exchange of ideas between academia and industry, as well as help prepare technology students for the entrepreneurial workplace and how to support new ventures.

Talking on a broader spectrum, Abraaj Capital Group - the biggest equity firm in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and forum sponsor - will share a case study on its investment platform dedicated to develop opportunities for SMEs in the region, Riyada Enterprise Development.

Abraaj will discuss how Riyada promotes and supports entrepreneurial activity in vital Middle East economic segments. The case study will also provide an insight on how Abraaj's platform aims to create high-impact, high-growth, successful businesses to fuel innovation, job-creation, sustainable growth and economic diversification.

The two-day forum - organised by Aim Events, Abu Dhabi University's Events Management Division - will also hold a video question and answer forum which will respond to the questions from young budding entrepreneurs and future business owners.

The Institute for Executive Development (IED), a member of Abu Dhabi University Knowledge Group (ADUKG), is the forum's strategic partner and supported by Microsoft.


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