Abraaj Capital today announced the programme and final list of speakers for the unique “Celebration of Entrepreneurship” event it is hosting at the Madinat Jumeriah Conference Centre on November 8-9, 2010. Bringing together experienced businesspeople, policy experts, angel financiers and some of the region’s freshest startups and aspiring student entrepreneurs, the event promises unique insights into entrepreneurship in the region.
The event will be headed by inspirational presentations taking place on its various sites. These will address broad themes, such as the importance of entrepreneurship to ensuring regional growth and stability, the need for government policy to support business start-ups and the growing importance of Muslim nations on the global stage.
• Osman Sultan, CEO, Du, UAE
• Mike Cassidy, Director of Product Management, Google, USA
• Amr Dabbagh, Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, Saudi Arabia
• Imran Khan, Founder, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, Pakistan
• Linda Rottenberg, CEO of Endeavor, USA
• John Kao, Chairman, Institute for Large Scale Innovation, USA
• H.E. Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Chairman, Young Arab Leaders UAE Country Office, UAE
• H.E. Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed S. Al Nehayan, Chairman, Bin Zayed Group, UAE
• Naif Al Mutawa, Founder and CEO, Teshkeel Media Group (THE 99), Kuwait
• Naguib Sawiris, CEO, Orascom Telecommunications, Egypt
• Samih Toukan, Director, Jabbar Internet Group, Jordan.
The Celebration will also feature 76 “Passion Corner” sessions where speakers will share inspiring stories in a more intimate and informal setting. Speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds – from the likes of Karim Djerboa, who will introduce the Cisco Entrepreneurship Institute; Mo Al Adham, the founder of TwitVid, the latest social media phenomenon, allowing Tweeters to upload videos; and 14-year-old Kuwaiti Abdulrahman Al Zanki, a developer of iPhone applications.
On a more granular level, there will be interactive “Ignition” workshops, designed to generate outcomes critical to the next stage of entrepreneurship in the MENASA; 1-800 mentorship sessions offering budding businesspeople 30 minutes of condensed advice with 50 accomplished CEOs heading some of the most successful businesses in the region, and Masterclasses offering training on many practical aspects of entrepreneurship.
There will also be “Sparks” sessions, a series of passionate presentations where some of the region’s freshest minds introduce their ideas to the community in a completely informal manner.
Attendees at the event will also have access to the “Spot-me” interactive mobile device that will customise and enhance their experience, as well as the chance to relax in chill-out areas and enjoy the work of 12 artists, and cultural entrepreneurs such as acclaimed musicians Talvin Singh and Guy Manoukian.
A number of announcements will also be made at the Celebration, including the formal launch of Riyada Enterprise Development (RED), a $500m investment platform exclusively dedicated to supporting SMEs across the region.
Wamda, a comprehensive interactive online portal dedicated to the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, will be unveiled at the event. The site will allow entrepreneurs, innovators, mentors and other stakeholders to come together to facilitate entrepreneurship in the MENASA.
Frederic Sicre, Executive Director, Abraaj Capital, said, “The Celebration has captured the imagination and attention of the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the MENASA region. The overwhelming response of entrepreneurs of all kinds has truly been astonishing. More importantly the depth of resources, creativity and energy that will assemble for this celebration can have a transformational impact on individual lives, communities and the entire region.”