In a recent conference on Wednesday held at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, Entrepreneurs shared valuable insight and tips with students. The university hopes the series will boost the entrepreneurial and start-up culture amongst its students.
The main purpose of StartUpSecrets is to nurture the skills of aspiring entrepreneurs by giving students a chance to meet start-up founders.
“A lot of students here want to do something for themselves but often lack mentorship. With events like this, they learn from already successful entrepreneurs on what it takes to execute ideas,” said Ammar Al Mamri, organiser of the event and president of the student representative council of the university.
The panel of speakers shared their journeys and experiences whilst setting up a company, in addition to giving key insights on various funding opportunities, support institutions, and the regulatory framework present in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country.
Sahar Abdullah, senior manager at Dubai SME, discussed its initiatives that were aimed particularly at students wanting to start their own businesses, such as the annual Young Entrepreneurs Competition that allows students in the UAE to run their own business through a stand in a shopping mall for a number of days. She also answered questions about the funding framework and membership criteria about their SME incubators and incentive schemes.
“I think this is a very exciting time to be a start-up in the UAE. There are a lot of support institutions and opportunities present for aspiring business owners in the country — but not enough knowledge about them, and we want to fix that.,” said Dr Ritu Sehgal, Assistant Professor from the university’s Faculty of Business.
Other speakers at the conference included Aman Merchant, co-founder of Impact Hub Dubai; Mona Tavassoli, co-founder of Mompreneurs Middle East; Sarmad Al Zadjali, co-founder of 82 Event Organisers; and professors from Wollongong Dubai’s School of Business.
More than 90 students, primarily from the schools of business and engineering, attended the event.