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Entrepreneurs / Entrepreneur Ecosystems

The Recap: Enterprise Agility Forum 2017

The Recap: Enterprise Agility Forum 2017
Image credit: Entrepreneur ME
5 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The 2017 edition of Entrepreneur Middle East’s Enterprise Agility Forum, presented by du, saw more than 300 people come together for the fourth edition of the annual event, which was held at The St. Regis Dubai, UAE on December 05, 2017.

The annual conference, which is staged under Entrepreneur Middle East’s Industry Intel banner, had speakers from across the Middle East region to share their insights and expertise on the MENA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Aby Sam Thomas, Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur ME
Source: Entrepreneur Middle East

Editor in Chief Aby Sam Thomas kicked off the event with his opening remarks, where he reiterated Entrepreneur Middle East’s goal of helping entrepreneurs and startups in the Middle East get ahead, and thanked all of the publication’s well-wishers for their relentless passion in helping realize this objective. “We don’t take your support lightly,” Thomas said to the audience.

Essa Al Zaabi, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Support Sector of Dubai Chamber
Source: Entrepreneur Middle East

“And that’s why we remain as committed as ever to the mission with which we launched four years ago, which is to help spur the MENA entrepreneurial ecosystem forward, and thus play a part -even if it is a small part- in helping transform the narrative of the Arab world.”

Fida Chaaban, Chief Communications Officer, KBW Investments
Source: Entrepreneur Middle East

The 2017 Enterprise Agility Forum was moderated by KBW Investments Chief Communications Officer Fida Chaaban, and it started off with a welcome note by Essa Al Zaabi, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Support Sector of Dubai Chamber, who expressed Dubai Chamber’s interest in supporting entrepreneurs with the right resources.

Hany Fahmy Aly, du, Executive Vice President – Enterprise Business
Source: Entrepreneur Middle East

The keynote address for the event was delivered by Hany Fahmy Aly, Executive Vice President – Enterprise Business, du, who spoke about some of the key principles MENA’s entrepreneurs need to apply for greater success.

Hany Fahmy Aly, Executive Vice President - Enterprise Business, du, Ashraf Zeitoon, Managing Partner, Diplomacy Labs, Nabra Al Busaidi, Executive Director, Young Arab Leaders, Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman, Access Power, and Haytham Yousef Kamhiyah, CEO, Emirates Development Bank with moderators Fida Chaaban, Chief Communications Officer, KBW Investments and Aby Sam Thomas, Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur ME

The first Talking Series session of the conference was a panel discussion on the topic, Walking The Talk: Encouraging Entrepreneurship in MENA (For Real), which was headlined by Hany Fahmy Aly, Executive Vice President - Enterprise Business, du, Ashraf Zeitoon, Founding Partner and Chief Ideation Officer, Diplomacy Labs, Nabra Al Busaidi, Executive Director, Young Arab Leaders, Reda El Chaar, founder and Executive Chairman, Access Power, and Haytham Yousef Kamhiyah, CEO, Emirates Development Bank. All of the speakers stressed on the need for more funds and better market access for the region’s SMEs, and also emphasized the need for bringing about regulatory changes for starting and running a business.

 

Entrepreneur and investor Sabah Al-Binali

This discussion was followed by the Voice of Entrepreneurship segment, which was headlined by entrepreneur and investor Sabah Al-Binali, who delved into various facets of the MENA entrepreneurship space, including some insights by the speaker on mistakes most commonly made by the region’s entrepreneurs and tips on how they can achieve their goals. Over the course of the conversation, Al-Binali also drew upon his own professional journey to break some myths around entrepreneurship in the region.

Samer Hamadeh, founder, Aegis Hospitality, Aya Sadder, Incubator Manager, Intelak Aviation Incubator, Hans Henrik Christensen, Director, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre, and Ashraf Zeitoon, Managing Partner, Diplomacy Labs with moderators Fida Chaaban, Chief Communications Officer, KBW Investments and Aby Sam Thomas, Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur ME

The second of the Talking Series put forward the need to embrace failures as an integral part of your entrepreneurship journey. Titled Rolling With The Punches: Tackling Obstacles And Failures In Entrepreneurship, the discussion had as its panelists Samer Hamadeh, founder, Aegis Hospitality, Aya Sadder, Incubator Manager, Intelak Aviation Incubator, Hans Henrik Christensen, Director, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre, and Ashraf Zeitoon, Founding partner and Chief Ideation Officer, Diplomacy Labs. While the speakers recalled the various roadblocks that they faced along their personal entrepreneurial journeys, they also underlined the significance of taking these challenges in one’s stride, and keep persevering towards one’s goals.

Khalil Shadid, founder and CEO, Reserveout, Zach Finkelstein, VP – Corporate Development, Careem, Rashid Sultan, founder and MD, Savour Ventures, and Lucy Chow, Director, Women Angel Investors Network with moderators Fida Chaaban, Chief Communications Officer, KBW Investments and Aby Sam Thomas, Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur ME

The third and final discussion of the day was on the topic, From MENA To The World: Funding Innovations That Can Go Global, which delved into the efforts that both the investor and entrepreneur community need to undertake in order to further grow MENA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Featuring Khalil Shadid, founder and CEO, Reserveout, Zach Finkelstein, VP – Corporate Development, Careem, Rashid Sultan, founder and MD, Savour Ventures, and Lucy Chow, Director, Women Angel Investors Network, the panel discussed ways to transform MENA’s funding environment into a robust one that nurtures and supports both local innovations and helps them go global.

The 2017 Enterprise Agility Forum, presented by du, was conducted with the support of Dubai Startup Hub, Luxury Partner, Cadillac, Platinum Allies, Sobha Hartland and AJSM Investments, Gold Allies, Thomson Reuters, OMD MENA, Access Power, and VentureSouq, and Ecosystem Partners, ArabNet and DTEC.

Related: The Recap: Enterprise Agility Awards 2017

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