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Attendees of the Dubai-based inaugural event
From L to R: Mr Gopal Aswani – Founder & Managing Partner of Precise Communications and Eleven Marketing, Dr Nahla Fadhlani – CEO of Blossom, Mr Ahmed Elrayes – Community Manager – in 5 Innovation Centres, Ms Roisin White Barrett – Senior Advisor International Trade Enterprise Ireland, Mr Lorenzo Jooris – CEO of Creative Zone, Mr Andreas Borgmann – Founder of Kcal, Hassan Habib CISI LUMA, Wealth Manager and Investment Advisor, Fiona Oster and Dr Mona Mustafa from the Birmingham Business School Dubai.

In celebration of the UAE’s imperative to foster and develop the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation, the University of Birmingham Dubai hosted its inaugural Entrepreneurship Day. Designed to inspire and inform, thanks to the valuable input of a select group of high calibre experts, this objective was not only achieved but exceeded! Wealth Manager, Hassan Habib, in his keynote speech to students highlighted the importance to organizations of having “entrepreneurial and economist minds in their strategic teams” not only to meet the demands of business but to be able to “look at the bigger picture at a hawk-eye level.”

Successful entrepreneurs including Gopal Aswani, Dr Nahla Fadhlani, Andreas Borgmann and Lorenzo Jooris shared their hugely valuable insights on addressing the challenges of starting and growing a business, their approaches to managing people, their leadership and management styles and critically, what motivates them to keep going! Ahmed Elrayes provided significant advice on business incubation and the myriad of supports available locally for entrepreneurs while Roisin White-Barrett stressed the importance of research and knowing the markets in advance of making a major commercial commitment.

The students really appreciated being able to engage with the speakers and learn how the theories presented in the classroom play out in real life. 

“The event was a brilliant opportunity to learn fundamental real-world skills needed for entrepreneurship specific to the MENA region. Additionally, it provided us with excellent networking options and the ability to meet some of the leaders in the UAE entrepreneurial market. The kinds of skills we picked up are difficult to grasp in a classroom setting, thus making the event extremely valuable for our development as business students” while another final year student, Alisha Aleem said “The event provided us with the opportunity to ask established entrepreneurs questions and draw upon their experience and expertise in the field. It was very well organised as business leaders from diverse industries in UAE were able to tap into the challenges and future opportunities for the business environment. This was highly valuable for us as final year students.”

Final year student, Ali Habib

This is an event which will be repeated with an entrepreneurial engineering student suggesting doing so on a monthly basis!

A special mention for the support of Mr Abdelaziz Almaazmi, Director - Business Incubation Department, Department of Economy and Tourism Dubai.

Audience and panel members of the Dubai inaugural event