Entrepreneurs and experts debate ways to innovate and succeed at the Tamakkan seminar held in Abu Dhabi recently.
“Entrepreneurs in the UAE tend to acquire funding relatively easily, but fail to set up the requisite strategic planning framework to ensure success,”
said Sana Bagersh, Founder of Tamakkan and CEO of BrandMoxie, at the Tamakkan entrepreneurship and innovation seminar entitled ‘Inspiring New Thinking’ held last night at the Al Mamoura Auditorium.
The non-profit initiative was attended by a mix of Emirati entrepreneurs with new projects, owners of existing businesses, academics and consultants, all who participated in an exciting discussions and debates on strategic planning, branding challenges in the UAE and social networking trends for businesses. The series of seminars is sponsored by John Buck International – Aldar.
“As a phenomenon young entrepreneurs in the UAE tend to rush into setting up a business. They get the financing, rent the space, hire the staff and open for business, and then realize quickly that they are in trouble because they didn’t do the proper research and planning,” said Bagersh.
Dr. Constance Van Horne, Assistant Professor at Zayed University who holds her PhD in Strategy gave a presentation on ‘Essential Strategic Planning for SMEs’ said that most common tendency for small and medium businesses is to neglect planning. “Planning tends to be reactive rather than proactive and yet it is vital for SME to engage in strategic planning as it is the key factor in the growth and success of the business.”
Van Horne explained that SMEs should get support to succeed because “SMEs make up the largest business sector in every world economy and are regarded as the keystone of regional economic growth and community regeneration.”
Georgina Kelly, the founding partner of Creative Intelligence, gave a presentation entitled ‘Brands to Grow.’ “You create a company, but you build a brand — over time,” she said. “Creating a brand identity for your company invites your customers to a brand experience which is ultimately how the audience is likely to relate to your company.”
Jim Buckingham, Senior Education Technology Specialist and Mathematical Modelling (Statistics) Instructor at Zayed University inspired the audience through an interesting exploration of the use of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter in promoting SMEs. “We need to be creative when it comes to listening to the needs of our customers. The key in identifying business trends of SMEs is to be lean, mean and innovate.”
The seminar also featured two emerging Emirati companies who showcased their companies through promotional videos and presentations. Dr Alma Kadragic, curriculum developer for the University of Wollongong and presented the ‘entrepreneur’ segment. One of these was Zgert, a company run by a team of enterprising young Emiratis, that produces arty cutting edge t-shirts that promote Emirati culture and the other was Badeyah Eyes Tourism, a tour operator that plans to differentiate itself by offering unique desert experiences to visitors.
“We are very happy to have been a part of Tamakkan. It has given us plenty of networking opportunities to interact with other entrepreneurs and we have already received interest in our tours and packages,” said Rudith Regondon of Al Badeyah Eyes Tourism.
Tamakkan is a non-profit organization founded by BrandMoxie as a CSR collaboration with businesses who want to give back to the country. The seminars are organized every month and given by academicians and experts who share knowledge and experiences, and by companies that want to facilitate knowledge transfer to the local community. Admissions are free but registrations required and available through BrandMoxie.