KAEC talks entrepreneurial competitions, tips and the bigger picture.
“Motivating students in entrepreneurship is having the ability to allow students to imagine, to be creative, to take and manage risks, to have a can-do attitude and the drive to make ideas happen,” says the Principal of The World Academy at KAEC, William Fraser
Being an ardent believer of the above mentioned and an advocate for entrepreneurial activity with its Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, King Abdullah Economic City has launched The World Academy Youth Entrepreneurship Sprint, a business plan competition for grade 10 and 11 students.
The team-based and two-month competition, organized in partnership with the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community, challenged students to identify and develop solutions for issues in the areas of energy, education, women empowerment, health, water and poverty. It included sessions and workshops facilitated by international trainers and mentors from KAEC and other established operations in the city.
“Developing entrepreneurial skills as part of education helps students build the abilities they will need to excel in all areas of endeavor,” said Fahd Al Rasheed, Group CEO and Managing Director of KAEC. Research by the European Commission has indicated that 20% of students who participate in business-related activities at secondary school will later start their own company.
The winning team received SR 5,000 to implement their plan along with complimentary office space in the KEE Zone space at KAEC and ongoing mentoring and training support.
By creating the suitable environment for new businesses, the city aims to support the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises as they contribute to around 33 percent of Saudi Arabia’s GDP and provide a little under 20 percent of jobs, according to the SME Finance Forum.
Tips on getting the youth involved:
Never say, “that can’t be done” because a solution is always available.
Teach them to “think outside the box”
Make sure they are prepared to fail and ready to take a risk.
How to start a business successfully:
Get a business plan
Brainstorm business ideas
Conduct a resource assessment and a feasibility study
Think about start-up capital.