Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy launches 'Shadow' initiative to develop entrepreneurial skills


In line with the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, the educational arm of Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has launched the ‘Shadow’ initiative to develop entrepreneurial skills. The initiative aims to pave the way for aspiring entrepreneurs to attain real work experience as well as knowledge and gain confidence to bring about positive change in society.

Under the initiative, entrepreneurs, specifically younger entrepreneurial talents, will be provided with opportunities to work in the industrial sector, develop sustainable projects, and build a network of successful entrepreneurs. Part of the Dubai SME strategy to assist young citizens to play their role in community service and economic development, the initiative involves a 4-8 week programme that allows participants to learn from successful enterprises and contribute to spreading an entrepreneurial culture. 

Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said: “The Shadow initiative falls in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to work closely with citizens and support them in bringing about real positive change in the society. The initiative seeks to empower entrepreneurs who had launched their start-ups and link them to successful enterprises and entrepreneurs worthy of emulating, thereby inspiring them to establish innovative companies and social projects. The first step in the initiative is to familiarise the participants with the basic concepts of starting a business and market knowledge. It’s indeed a wonderful opportunity for the young people to learn about successful entrepreneurship.

The Shadow initiative also supports the leadership’s vision and sustainable development targets including Emiratisation and human development. By empowering the youth through knowledge, skills and practical experiences, the initiative seeks to create trust-based relationships that support and sustain innovation and social development.

Al Janahi added: “Since its inception Dubai Entrepreneurship has been launching a series of programmes to provide the best possible opportunities for our ambitious youth and help them get accustomed to global best practices. The goal is to enable them launch entrepreneurial projects that will contribute to economic growth and job creation in Dubai and the UAE while also achieving our Emiratisation targets.”

Commented Ibrahim Shaheen, CEO of IGT Investments: “As an entrepreneur, I am thankful for all the support that Dubai SME has provided me. I will do my best to guide the next new pioneers with all our expertise and help them follow the right steps and avoid pitfalls along the road towards progress.”

Osama Al Daour, Managing Director of Beta Information Technology, said: “The Arab region needs creativity, and there is as an abundance of ambition and ideas among our youth. Therefore, we must work together to share our expertise with them through participation in initiatives like Shadow.”

Khalifa Al Jaziri, Managing Director of Smart IOT Group, said: “We appreciate the efforts of Dubai SME towards helping us, and it is now our turn to guide the new pioneers as well as help them go past hurdles and attain success.”

Ayman Al Awadhi, Managing Director of the Corporate Group, praised Dubai SME’s efforts in launching the Shadow initiative and highlighted its importance in promoting entrepreneurial awareness in the UAE and across GCC. “I have come across many organisations encouraging investments in Dubai. It’s therefore important to create the appropriate environment to spread a culture of perseverance and creativity among our entrepreneurs and motivate them to keep moving forward.”

Mohammed Al Sayari, an entrepreneur who participated in the initiative commended the support that Shadow trainees receive and its role in inspiring them to be creative. Khaled Saleh, another participant, said: “I look forward to benefiting from the experiences, launching my start-up faster, and move confidently towards my goals. I express my gratitude towards all those in charge of this initiative.”

The Shadow programme will also reinforce corporate social responsibility (CSR) by encouraging successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences, offer creative ideas to support start-ups, participate in training courses and mentor aspiring entrepreneurs.

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