Dubai Chamber Highlights Achievements of GBF Mentorship Programme
The first cycle of the Global Business Forum (GBF) Mentorship Programme has created far-reaching benefits for participating UAE and African startups and mentors, while it has brought entrepreneurial communities together and identified synergies which can be built upon in the future.
That was the message from H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who highlighted key achievements of the GBF Mentorship Programme during an interactive session today at GBF Africa 2019 in Dubai.
“We were very encouraged by the overwhelming response and successful results of the first cycle this year – which is why we are delighted to announce our plans to launch the second cycle of the programme in 2020. Through this unique programme, we are expanding the GBF platform and building an entrepreneurial legacy that encourages more startups from the UAE and Africa to go beyond borders and scale their businesses,” said H.E. Buamim.
“The GBF Mentorship Programme has broken new ground for startups by creating a reciprocal scheme that takes startups and mentors from one region
and pairs them with startups and mentors from another. We hope to expand this programme to new regions in the future and double the number of startups and mentors taking part,” he explained.
“The mentorship programme is structured to develop the potential of the global entrepreneur – who can be best described as someone who does not see borders as limitations. This breed of entrepreneurs can compete in any business environment and often chases global growth opportunities,” added H.E. Buamim.
Taking centre-stage at GBF Africa 2019, Dubai Chamber’s GBF Mentorship Programme is a first-of-its-kind initiative pairing startups and mentors from the UAE and Africa. Earlier this year, Dubai Chamber hosted its first-ever Chamberthon event in Kigali, Rwanda where UAE and African startups collaborated and developed the structure and features of the mentorship programme.
In the first cycle, several high-potential startups from the UAE and Africa were selected to participate in the programme, each offering cutting-edge solutions in key sectors and fields of mutual interest, such as agriculture, e-commerce, technology, fintech and artificial intelligence.
Participating startups were paired with mentors who offered valuable expertise needed to help the businesses develop and expand to new markets. Mentors supported startups in a variety of key areas such as pitching, on enhancing team performance, building stronger relationship with co-founders and boards of directors, tapping into new markets and understanding the principles of leadership.
Another session on the first day of GBF Africa 2019 introduced attendees with the finalist startups and mentors who took part in the GBF Mentorship Programme. During the session, participants shared their experiences, biggest achievements and plans for the future.
Mentor Chris Folayan, Founder and Chief, Executive Officer, Mall for Africa, South, said: “It brought great joy and satisfaction to me. It was amazing to be able to give back. As CEOs we are most of the time thinking about our balance sheets but at the end of the day, we should care about what’s going to happen to the next generation. It’s been an amazing ride.”
Mentee Nadim Habr, Founder and Chief Executive, Officer, Designhubz, UAE, commented said: “As a mentee, you simply need encouragement and connectivity. As a tech company there is always a sense of urgency in expanding and Chris [my mentor] helped with how I was going to expand from Dubai globally.”
Habr and fellow mentee Kenneth Obiajulu, Founder and Managing Director, Farmgate Africa, said the valuable lessons learned from their respective mentors were among the biggest benefits associated with their participation. Mentor Nader Amiri, Founder and Chief Executive, Officer, el Grocer, UAE said: “It’s all about being more digital- you can connect from both sides anytime, anywhere, any day, anyhow- the structure is there - it’s just about putting it out there.”
Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
We are a non-profit public organization whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai. It does so by creating a favourable environment; promoting Dubai as an international business hub and by supporting the development of business.