Khalifa Fund announces plans to empower youth, entrepreneurship - GulfToday

Khalifa Fund announces plans to empower youth, entrepreneurship

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The foresight study is being made to help establish a key outlook on the future for local entrepreneurs.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) has announced plans to conduct a foresight study aimed at providing a long-term look at the prospective challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship in the UAE. The Fund has designated a team of experts to facilitate the research and identify the key factors to be focused on while conducting the study to yield credible results and practical recommendations.

 The foresight study is being made to help establish a key outlook on the future for local entrepreneurs, including the promotion and move to empower Emirati-owned enterprises, which falls in line with the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership to support and promote a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the country. The research to be conducted is also seen as an emerging driver in the efforts to encourage Emiratis in developing and rolling out projects that can help the country in its bid for continuous growth and development.

Mouza Al Nasri, Acting Chief Executive Officer, KFED, revealed that the planned study demonstrates KFED’s continuing efforts to promote a culture of entrepreneurship, particularly in its constant support for locally owned SMEs.

“KFED is proud to announce its plans to conduct a new study that will give us a glimpse of what lies ahead for entrepreneurship in the UAE, which in turn, will help us know how to further encourage local citizens, especially the youth segment, to engage in entrepreneurship and invest their energies and highly innovative ideas in successful projects that looks towards the future. This initiative will also contribute to defining expectations, opportunities, directions, challenges and other factors that may affect the future of entrepreneurship and SMEs in the country,” she said.

Al Nasri pointed out that the results of the study will serve as a baseline for better strategic planning in entrepreneurship. It will also help guide government polices related to SME development, identify priority sectors, develop future plans for the business community and promote self-employment among citizens.

According to KFED senior officials, the project, which is part of the leading studies and researches developed by the KFED’s Department of Strategic Affairs, will be conducted in cooperation with a consulting firm specializing in foresight research and some of the Fund’s local partners.

The study will contribute in determining drivers of entrepreneurship and anticipating the future trends. It will also assist in devising solutions to challenges being faced by Emirati entrepreneurs, encourage them to participate actively in building the future and maximize their contribution to the UAE national economy that would further enhance the country’s competitiveness and consolidate its regional and global leadership position.

In this context, KFED recently organized a workshop to train its employees on future foresight skills. More than 20 employees from the Fund’s different departments and divisions took part in the workshop where most important factors affecting entrepreneurship and the sustainability of emerging projects and startups were highlighted, including the setting of future action plans that contribute to drawing a road map for developing local SMEs.

Foresight studies are a multidisciplinary science that aims to determine the trends of future events and analyze various variables that may affect these trends. They are also aimed at seeing an alternative future, while looking ahead to an in-depth scientific intellectual effort based on selected quantitative and qualitative indicators, according to the nature of the study, as an introduction to formulating strategic plans that will keep pace with expected changes.

Meanwhile, as part of its efforts to promote entrepreneurship in the UAE, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) has joined the ongoing 10th edition of SIAL Middle East at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Being held under the patronage of  Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), the event, which features top local and international food and hospitality companies, will run until December 11, 2019.

During the event, KFED has been engaging with young Emirati entrepreneurs to discuss its financial and non-financial programs designed to boost their innovative projects with significant economic contributions. The Fund is also showcasing the financing, training and consultancy services that it provides to national startups and local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) before an audience of more than 20,000 visitors, experts, and stakeholders. Through this year’s edition, the Fund said it targets to reach more local entrepreneurs in the food and beverage (F&B) and hospitality sectors.

Mouza Al Nasri, Acting Chief Executive Officer, KFED, said: “SIAL Middle East is an ideal platform for all stakeholders to introduce their latest products, services and innovations in the F&B and hospitality industries. Our participation this year shows that we are keen to continuously support entrepreneurship in the UAE and encourage local citizens to try the freelancing route. Taking part in the event reflects our intensified efforts to enhance the role of local SMEs across strategic industries.”