Over 90 renowned speakers and entrepreneurs share best practices for driving SME growth at GES-EVA
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, December 12 - 2012 at 09:26
- PRESS RELEASE
The Global Entrepreneurship Summit - Entrepreneurial Ventures of Arabia (GES-EVA), held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from December 11 to 12, 2012, is hosting more than 90 renowned speakers and successful entrepreneurs from 20 countries sharing best practices in promoting a culture of entrepreneurship that will power the regional small and medium enterprises (SME) ecosystem of the Arab world.
The various panel discussions at the GES-EVA Summit are addressed by experts in wide-ranging fields, representing governments, world-leading educational institutions, non-governmental organisations, financial organisations and various business sectors from across the world including the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey, Chile, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon, in addition to a strong representation from the UAE.
In addition to keynote addresses by guest entrepreneurs and government representatives from the UAE, US and Malaysia, GES-EVA is hosting more than 20 sessions including panel discussions, success story talk shows, keynote discussions hosted by AllWorld Network and informed debates.
His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the organizing committee for GES-EVA, said: "GES, held for the first time in the region and hosted in the UAE, has received overwhelming response with the attendance exceeding our expectations. In addition to renowned experts and keynote speakers, more than 2,000 delegates representing all sectors of the SME ecosystem and business leaders are attending the event. Several agreements relating to promoting entrepreneurship and SMEs were signed on the sidelines of the Summit. The SME sector receives tremendous support from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and hosting the Summit is in line with his vision to support entrepreneurs locally and regionally, and equipping them with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to support the community."
Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, said: "The GES-EVA serves as an inspiring and educational platform that will benefit participants by offering them unique insights into the global and regional experience of entrepreneurial success. The Summit is undoubtedly the largest of its kind brainstorming, focused on promoting the SME sector, with the world's leading minds gathering in Dubai to share their knowledge. This offers a tremendous learning opportunity for participants, who will also benefit from networking with the experts and further growing their business through valuable partnerships."
He added: "The various experts addressing the panels have proven their competencies across diverse aspects of business - from finance to marketing and customer engagement, all of which are key to fostering the growth of businesses. The presence of these C-level business leaders as well as senior governmental representatives and civil society thought leaders will further establish Dubai's reputation as a city that promotes forward-looking vision for the overall growth of the Arab world, with a focus on promoting entrepreneurship."
Flagging off the keynote addresses, Juma Al Majid, shared real-life experiences on entrepreneurship, at a strictly invitation only event. In other keynote addresses, Mustafa Abdel-Wadood of The Abraaj Group shared the success story of the company, and its focus on promoting small and medium enterprises; and David Harrison, SVP of Freelancer.com, one of the world's fastest growing online companies, based in Australia, spoke on 'The Future of Work: New Ways to Scale Your Company.'
Sharing the success stories from across the world was the 'Innovation Without Borders' talk shows that highlighted the experiences of Jordan. AllWorld Network hosted a keynote address on 'The Future of Work: New Ways to Scale Your Company,' discussing online outsourcing, with the session also marking the launch of AllWorld's SouthAsia250.
The panel discussions flagged off with a 'Global Conversation with Policy Makers,' who shared 'Global Best Practices in Entrepreneurship and SME Developments.' The session discussed best practices and benchmarks for entrepreneurship and how growth can be accelerated in developing economies. It was moderated by Jonathan Ortmans, President of Global Entrepreneurship and Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, USA, and the panelists included: Horacio Melo, Executive Director, Startup Chile, Chile; Prof Bulent Gultekin, Former Central Bank Governor, Wharton School, USA; Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME; and Abdullah Al Darmaki, CEO, Khalifa Fund, UAE.
Another key session was on 'Scouting for Winners: Is the Next Facebook the Way of the Future,' which featured investors who seek opportunity and returns in different forms, exploring how successful entrepreneurial companies of tomorrow will look like and what sectors will be considered as most successful by the investors. Habib Haddad, CEO, Wamda, UAE, was the moderator of the session with participation by Tom Speechley, The Abraaj Group; Maher Kaddoura, Managing Director, Next Move, and Former MD, Meydan, Jordan; Farrukh H. Khan, Country Director & CEO, Acumen Fund, Pakistan; Badr Jafar, Managing Director, Crescent Group; and Abdullatif Alsayegh, Founder, Alsayegh Media, UAE.
The various other panel discussions on the opening day of GES-EVA included: Creating Change Leaders in the Connected World,' 'SME Financing,' 'The MENA's Youth Phenomenon,' 'Establishing a Unified GCC SME ecosystem,' 'Thinking Big & Building Big Blocks for Womenpreneurs,' and 'Finance Hunting: From Traditional Avenues to Alternative Channels,' addressed by experts in the respective fields.
An interesting debate was held on the opening day on 'Entrepreneurship Through the Ages,' which discussed how entrepreneurship has evolved over the past decade and what the next ten years have in store. The session was moderated by Frederic Sicre of The Abraaj Group, and the panelists included Ron Bruder, Founder, Education for Employment, USA; Christopher M. Schroeder, CEO, Health Central, USA; Naif Al Mutawa, Founder & CEO, Teshkeel, Kuwait; Adel Ali, Group CEO, Air Arabia; and Faisal Al Bannai, CEO, Axiom Telecom.
On Wednesday (Dec. 12, 2012), Jeff Hoffman, Co-Founder & Former CEO, Priceline, USA and Fadi Ghandour, Founder & CEO, Aramex, UAE, will present keynote addresses at GES-EVA, while Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, President of Abdul Latif Jameel Group, Saudi Arabia, will be the keynote speaker at the panel discussion on 'Why Corporates Need to Make Entrepreneurship a CSR Act?'
GES-EVA will host panel discussions on 'Incubating Innovation: Structuring a Sustainable Ecosystem for Tech Start-Ups,' 'Why Corporates Need To Make Entrepreneurship a CSR Act?' 'Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur,' and a 'Focus Snapshot on 'Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets: Current Scenario & Future Opportunities,' among others, on Wednesday. A debate on 'Ever Failed? Fail Again. Fail Better: When do you stop? Turn failures into fortunes,' discussing the spectacular failures that have become hallmark experiences for highly successful entrepreneurs, will also be held. The experiences of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia will also be on spotlight in the 'Innovation without Borders' discussion, in addition to a session on 'The Art of Franchising.'
AllWorld Keynotes on Wednesday include a spotlight session on 'Africa's Entrepreneurial Century,' led by Tony Elumelu, one of the continent's most successful entrepreneurs, with the session to mark the launch of AllWorld and Tony Elumelu Foundation's Africa 500. 'How will You Measure Your Life,' and 'Transforming Strategy: Creating Shared Value' on Michael Porter's McKinsey Prize winning article in the Harvard Business Review on 'shared value' are two other key sessions. GES-EVA will also celebrate public private partnerships with 'A Spotlight on Partners for a New Beginning.'
The panel discussions and sessions are sponsored by Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai Chamber, Higher Colleges of Technology, du, The Abraaj Group, Emirates NBD, AllWorld Network, Emirates-Aspen Partnership, Microsoft and Wamda.
GES-EVA also features the inaugural 'Grow Your Business - Regional SME Competition and Awards' for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), sponsored by du and Dubai Internet City in collaboration with DWTC. Expo 2020 Dubai, UAE Candidate City is the Strategic Partner of GES-EVA; Dubai Chamber, du and Emirates NBD are the Lead Partners; Dubai SME and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development are Industry Partners.
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