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Empowering citizens key path to comprehensive, sustainable development: Nahyan bin Mubarak

Empowering citizens key path to comprehensive, sustainable development: Nahyan bin Mubarak
24 Jan 2024 08:51

MARIAM BOUKHATEM (ABU DHABI)


The open recruitment day, organised by Sandooq Al Watan, kicked off yesterday at the Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sandooq Al Watan, along with His Excellency Sultan bin Saif Al Neyadi, Minister of State for Youth.

Several ministers, prominent businessmen, Emirati investors, and leaders from over 30 national business incubators and accelerators attended the event, which witnessed the participation of more than 500 Emirati youth seeking opportunities in the private sector.

Sandooq Al Watan is a community initiative launched by Emirati businessmen to support the creation of a better future for forthcoming generations. The fund’s partners, board members, and Yaser Al Gergawi, the Director-General of Sandooq Al Watan, were also present.

The aim of the event was to empower youth in the private sector and enhance their capabilities for venturing into entrepreneurship. The activities included the signing of collaboration agreements between the fund and all incubators to launch the National Network for Business Incubators. Additionally, an exhibition showcased the fund’s notable projects and success stories of Emirati youth.

Joining Hands with Incubators

Twenty-four business incubators, out of a total of 100 nationwide, signed agreements during the event. This initiative seeks to make these incubators effective within the network, according to Al Gergawi. His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan emphasised that the fund’s focus on providing employment opportunities for the country’s sons and daughters reflects a strong commitment to the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He highlighted the need to harness the full potential of all citizens, considering it the best path to comprehensive and sustainable development.

His Highness the President has outlined several key national directives, with a focus on providing suitable employment opportunities for all citizens, aligning them with the country’s needs and societal aspirations. This includes working to increase productivity across all sectors, providing the necessary conditions to fully utilise the human resources in the country, ensuring a productive and dignified life for all.

During his opening speech, His Excellency announced the commencement of work on the National Network for Business Incubators, sponsored by Sandooq Al Watan, and include incubators and accelerators nationwide. The goal is to collaborate through a cooperation and coordination agreement signed by all parties, laying the foundation for joint work, knowledge exchange, and successful implementation of ideas into practical and viable projects.

Digital Platform Supporting Entrepreneurs

In this context, Sandooq Al Watan has established a digital platform to support the network, contributing to providing all the factors and conditions that support innovation, initiative, and entrepreneurship.

This includes financing resources, guidance, consultation, system and policy development, implementation of effective programmes to equip youth with necessary experiences and skills, reliance on efficient information systems, as well as benefiting from global experiences, and opening up to research and study results. The platform aims to encourage youth to venture into entrepreneurship.

His Excellency noted that during the event, Sandooq Al Watan dedicated a special session to review the capabilities and goals of the digital platform of the National Network for Business Incubators for everyone. This demonstrates that the era of knowledge and technologies enables individuals to establish innovative companies and projects, serving as an important means for them to become successful entrepreneurs.

At the same time, this platform becomes an effective tool for societal development and the enhancement of economic development levels. Al Gergawi explained that the event aims to support and empower citizens in companies and institutions in the private sector. It enables them to establish and develop startups and small businesses, encouraging them to engage in entrepreneurship, studies, and private research in the field of employment.

This is in addition to the launch of the National Network for Business Incubators, he said, emphasising that the event is one of the annual activities organised by Sandooq Al Watan as part of efforts to employ citizens in the private sector. He pointed out that the open day included several events, including dialogue sessions with founding members of the National Network for Business Incubators.

They spoke about the network’s goals, its role in supporting and empowering local entrepreneurs, the network’s working mechanism, and the coordination between members and the role of Sandooq Al Watan. The event also highlighted key indicators measuring the network’s success in achieving its goals.

An introductory session about the National Network for Business Incubators was conducted. The event reviewed significant initiatives implemented by Sandooq Al Watan to assist UAE citizens in obtaining top positions in major private sector companies within vital economic sectors.

The initiatives presented by the fund in this regard cover a slew of programmes. Moreover, future plans, initiatives, and partnerships in this field by Sandooq Al Watan were outlined during the open recruitment day. The open day also witnessed the participation of business incubators, along with several discussion sessions. These sessions heard success stories of the fund in empowering and supporting Emirati entrepreneurs, and Sandooq Al Watan’s initiatives in employment and entrepreneurship in the annual employment conference.

Jobs in Private Sector

Ghannam Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, said: “In implementation of the wise directives of our leadership to support and empower citizens to benefit from job opportunities available in the private sector, the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council is keen to participate in job fairs organised by government, semi-governmental, and private entities.

One of the most important events is the open recruitment day - the second edition organised by Sandooq Al Watan, with the aim of enhancing efforts to employ citizens in companies and institutions in the private sector.” Al Mazrouei praised the efforts of Sandooq Al Watan, noting that the participation of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council in the open recruitment day includes an awareness workshop about the Nafis programme and its related initiatives.

The goal is to change concepts related to work in the private sector by highlighting government support to raise the efficiency and competitiveness of local talents, and qualifying them for employment in the private sector. Additionally, the workshop reviewed the training opportunities available for visitors during the open recruitment day through the Nafis platform. Hend Al Zaheri, a partner at the Emirati Catalyst company, said that the goal of these events is to help university graduates and small- and medium-sized project owners develop their projects.

It supports them in crystallising their ideas, bringing them into fruition, and familiarising them with important methods and programmes to ensure the success of their projects. Rawdha Al Meraikhi, Associate Director of Outreach and Engagement at Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), said that agreements were signed for groundbreaking projects in artificial intelligence with Sandooq Al Watan.

This comes as part of a programme launched by MBZUAI to support pioneering projects in this field through the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre for Artificial Intelligence. For her part, Salwa Al Maflahi, Director of Institutional Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility at Al Dar Foundation, said: “Our long-term partnership with Sandooq Al Watan has enabled Al Dar to contribute to making a tangible impact in elevating and developing the skills of local talents in the UAE. Through this strategic partnership, we have supported a diverse range of programmes and initiatives closely aligned with our values, demonstrating our commitment to driving the nation’s development towards a knowledge-based society, enhancing localisation efforts in the private sector, and empowering the youth of our nation to unleash their potential.”

Alia Al Mazrouei, CEO of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said: “The Khalifa Fund continues its efforts to form partnerships with leading institutions in the UAE and collaborate with them as part of its initiatives to empower entrepreneurs and enhance the small and medium enterprises (SME) ecosystem in the Emirates. Our partnership with Sandooq Al Watan on its digital business incubator platform aligns with our strategic vision to boost the growth of the national economy.”

“As one of the founding partners of the platform, the Khalifa Fund will contribute to developing the members’ networking opportunities by facilitating communication and interaction through the platform. In addition to its central role in workshops, training, knowledge sharing, and best practices, the Khalifa Fund will contribute to research related to the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE."

"It will also support promising entrepreneurial initiatives and strengthen collaboration between startups and large corporations. Through our partnership on the platform, we look forward to playing a vital role in shaping the future of the economic landscape in the UAE and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship,” she added

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