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Alia Al Mazrouei And Khalid Al Fahim Headline Dubai Startup Hub's Latest Youth Business Voice Event

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Dubai Startup Hub hosted the second session of its Youth Business Voice event series on January 17, 2018 at the Youth Hub in Emirates Towers. The event series, held in partnership with Emirates Youth Council, aims to nurture the growth of young entrepreneurs in the UAE and broaden their business know-how.

This edition of Youth Business Voice revolved around the topic of family businesses, and how one can operate and grow within one. Alia Al Mazrouei, Chief Operating Officer, Mazrui International, and Khaled Al Fahim, Board Director, Al Fahim Group, were the guest speakers for the discussion, which was moderated by Sulaf Saleh Al-Zu’bi.

Al Mazrouei, who, besides her experience in her family business, has been an entrepreneur and also worked within the public sector, noted how working at Mazrui International gave her a well-rounded skillset. “When I was working in the public sector, I was focusing only on one area. But working in the family business, it’s a completely different exposure I get- the learning I get is quite different, and there are areas I had no background about, and I learnt about.”

Among the other points discussed during the session was the importance of appropriate corporate governance in family businesses. “I think all family members have the right to get involved in the business– every single shareholder” said Al Fahim. “But, they can only get involved from a board and strategy level- so, every shareholder should have a representative on the board discussing strategies… But when it comes to employment, the proper governance should be applied, so that you need to qualify to be an employee.”

Youth Business Voice workshop at Emirates Towers
Source: Dubai Chamber

As for how UAE family businesses are currently reacting towards entrepreneurial endeavors, Al Fahim had a positive outlook about the business landscape. “Family businesses with the right governance are thriving, and having family members entering into startup businesses is actually an add-on, not competition,” Al Fahim said. “Because family businesses end up investing in companies- so, as a startup, you either grow the business and eventually someone else is going to buy you out. So having startups [on your portfolio] is actually very handy.”

Dubai Startup Hub will be hosting more Youth Business Voice events over the course of the year; stay tuned to @DubaiStartupHub on Twitter and Instagram to learn about the next edition of the event series.

This article was originally published on Dubai Startup Hub and has been reposted on Entrepreneur Middle East based on a mutual agreement between the websites.

Related: Arab Youth Startup Marketplace In Dubai To Showcase MENA's Youth Entrepreneurs

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