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Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Forum attracts regional and international delegates
2013-10-09 18:29:16
WAM ABU DHABI, 9th October, 2013 (WAM)--The Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Forum 2013 (ADEF), has attracted massive attendance from regional and global delegates. The event is held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

During his speech, special guest Chad Hurley, co-founder of global social video-sharing giant YouTube said: "I would like to express my delight and honour at participating in this forum, as it gives me the platform to share some valuable insights that I have learned since I launched YouTube with my partners Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. Our brand has become a global icon, and I believe this forum can facilitate knowledge transfer that nurtures other global brands." He added that it is vital for business owners to give themselves the mental space to conceptualize big ideas and explore their creativity to its fullest. This would ultimately lead to innovative problem-solving, strong leadership, higher financial returns and eventually stronger economic growth.

According to Hurley: "When young people get access to such a pool of experience from established entrepreneurs, it accelerates their learning process since it means they don't have to wait to learn everything the hard way. This will help the nation build a knowledge-based economy where intellectual assets are just as valuable - if not more valuable - than physical assets." Commenting on the event, Abdul Malek Al Jaber, Founder and CEO of MENA Apps said: "The magnitude and significance of this forum proves that we have reached a turning point in our region, with the youths taking on greater responsibilities. They form the largest proportion of the population, so they should also be allowed a greater proportion of the opportunities in entrepreneurship. I personally believe that this forum is the best possible platform to learn from success stories regionally and globally, so that we can create our own successes." Badr Jafar, Managing Director of the Crescent Group and co-founder of Global Gumbo Group said: "By hosting high-profile events like the Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Forum, the Khalifa Fund continues to pioneer new pathways in entrepreneurship, championing the role of a new breed of smart SME's. In my view this forum is the ideal opportunity to transform fledgling ideas into successful market leaders." Jafar explained that today's global corporate giants were at one point only start-ups, citing the example of Gulftainer - a subsidiary of the Crescent Group, which began its operations as a small port operator in Sharjah in 1976: "By adopting the best practices in business and enhancing its efficiency and innovation, Gulftainer has today become the world's largest privately-owned port operator, managing world-class terminals in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Brazil. The Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Forum can nurture similar success stories, helping emerging local companies to make their mark on the global economic landscape." Buthaina Al Mazrouei and Princess Nora bint Hashim, owners of Bretton Dinner Club, also concurred that this forum can bridge the gulf between local start-ups and the more established market leaders, as delegates benefit from the decades of experience of world-renowned speakers.

Faisal Al Hammadi, co-founder of Slices, said: "Our region has one of the most promising and fastest growing economies in the world. Added to that, we also benefit from highly supportive government mechanisms that facilitate end-to-end opportunities - from start-up funding right up to the launch of the projects, and favorable terms for their operations." He added that the main obstacles include streamlining the procedures for launching new projects, reducing the operating expenses and revamping the bankruptcy policies. However he conceded that these obstacles are outweighed by the positive factors such as business incubator centers that empower entrepreneurs to fully develop their ideas.

Sana Bagersh, CEO and founder of �Tamakun', said: "The SME sector is one of the key growth engines that shapes the economic landscape, and is also a major driver of job creation. There is a wealth of fresh ideas and ambitious visions, if we can only give entrepreneurs the opportunity to contribute to our socio-economic infrastructure." She added that the big advantage of SME's is that their owners have more leeway and freedom to innovate and take calculated risks with new ideas, whereas bigger companies might not have as much flexibility and are more risk-averse.

Commenting on his experience at the forum, Rabea Ataya, CEO and Chairman of Bayt.com said: "It is quite evident from this forum that the entrepreneurial spirit is deeply rooted in the region. At Bayt.com we have a proud track record of assisting emerging companies to recruit top-notch talent. Human capital is a crucial make-or-break area for the success of any business, so we are proud to be professional matchmakers helping young entrepreneurs to find compatible candidates who can elevate them into a sophisticated, advanced operation." --MORE-- WAM/MN
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