Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, in collaboration with INJAZ-UAE (a member of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide), has launched a three-year partnership to implement a series of entrepreneurial programs to instill key skills and a culture of innovation among students. This partnership targets youth aged 13-24 in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Western Region.
Dr. Ahmed Khalil Al Mutawa, CEO of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said that the Fund plans to invest about AED 1.5 million on training for over 4000 UAE national students as part of this partnership.
"The aim is to create a dynamic entrepreneurial culture amongst youth and instill a sense of responsibility for their own professional future. In return, this will support the future economic development and progress of the capital, and as a result, the United Arab Emirates," he commented.
Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehyan, Chairman of INJAZ-UAE, said, "We cannot overlook the importance of entrepreneurship education in the region, especially now that the youth unemployment figures are alarmingly high across the region. It paves the way for a culture of entrepreneurship for the creation of job opportunities, contributing to the growing economy of Abu Dhabi. It is extremely rewarding for INJAZ-UAE to be part of this visionary plan set out by the Khalifa Fund."
JA Worldwide’s core purpose of inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in the global economy is strategically aligned to Khalifa Fund’s vision for promoting entrepreneurship education amongst Emirati youth. JA Worldwide is the fastest growing business education organization, reaching nearly 10 million students per yearly in 123 countries. The organization’s efforts are a testament to the importance of entrepreneurship education globally. JA’s world-class programs and leading curricula introduce students to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and self-employment through unique hands-on, experiential mentoring methods, such as the three programs offered: JA Company Program, ‘You Can b!’ Innovation Camp and Entrepreneurship Masterclass.
Mouza Obaid, Senior Manager of Entrepreneurship Development Department of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development said, "Our support will also involve engaging different contributors such as Khalifa Fund members and successful entrepreneurs to the development of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.”
“Young people will be prepared to embark on entrepreneurship challenges and be qualified for available opportunities in Khalifa Fund,” Moza added. “At the direction of professional consultants, students get practical experience concerning company operations, from start-up phases of development of products, services or ideas used in marketing, production and division of shareholder’s equity. The JA programs offer such skills.”
Sulaf Al-Zu’bi, CEO of INJAZ-UAE, said, “We look forward to this partnership; together, we can reach out to students at a young age, igniting a spark of opportunity and self belief. This collaboration plants the seeds for creating more entrepreneurial youth within us. The UAE has a promising future, as research shows that 64% of national youth plan to set-up their own business in five years time.”
The “learn by doing” concept implemented in the JA programs provides maximum impact for the students. The final stage witnesses students going through the ‘Best Company of the Year’ competition at a local level, and the winning teams qualify to compete at a regional competition amongst 13 other Arab country teams.