Barclays Bank encourages innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth through the launch of ‘You can b!’ innovation day camps with INJAZ-UAE

Published December 28th, 2009 - 03:12 GMT

For the first time in the UAE, Barclays and INJAZ-UAE, a member of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, have partnered to encourage innovative and creating thinking among 15 to 18 year old students through the ‘You can b!’ Innovation Day Camp starting on 22nd December 2009.  This day camp is part of the Barclays and JA Worldwide ‘You can b!’ initiative, a three-year, AED 10,980,000 initiative that will support the expansion of JA Worldwide’s® JA Company Program® and JA Job Shadow™ to reach a projected 8,000 students in 11 countries during its first year. In addition to the United Arab Emirates, targeted countries include Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Egypt and India.

The first in a series of four ‘Innovation Day Camps’, the event will have 100 students gather in order to collaboratively address a specific business challenge and come up with ideas which would solve the challenge using the leadership, critical-thinking and team-work skills.  The student teams will propose an innovative solution within a very limited time frame, using set tools, information and resources under the guidance of trained professional volunteers from the private sector. The activity will help foster an understanding of the world of work and a spirit of entrepreneurship through the principle of “learning by doing”. Students will also be able to develop their interpersonal as well as problem-solving skills and learn to work under very tight deadlines.

The students will then present their solutions to a panel of judges comprising of INJAZ UAE’s Chairman, Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed, Barclays Managing Director – MENA, Mr. Michael Miebach, members of Barclays executives, industry leaders and established entrepreneurs.

The global “Barclays/JA Worldwide ‘You can b!’ initiative teaches students entrepreneurship and business skills through a three-part program that will help them compete effectively in the new global economy. The program includes the Innovation Day Camp, Student-Run Companies with the JA Company Program, first hand knowledge of the workplace environment with JA Job Shadow Day.

“This initiative will have a positive and profound impact on students’ ability to succeed in the job market,” said Sheikh Khalid Bin Zayed Bin Saqer Al Nehayan, Chairman of INJAZ Al-Arab and INJAZ – UAE. “Innovation and creativity, instilled at an early age, are the building blocks to lateral thinking and new opportunities. This is our investment in the brighter future of our nation.”

“Innovation and creative solutions have been a hallmark of Barclays and has been important to its 300 year history. The youth are the future leaders and vital to the success of any economy. Encouraging the youth to think creatively and outside the box will bring out the new ideas that we need to make this world a better place, not and in the future. This is fundamental to our sustainability agenda,” commented Mr. Michael Miebach, Managing Director for Barclays Middle East and North Africa, Global Retail and Commercial Banking. “We are happy to partner with JA, an organization with the track record and experience to provide what young people need to realize their full potential, to deliver this programme.”

This event will be hosted by Dubai Knowledge Village, a longstanding partner with INJAZ-UAE whose support helped INJAZ-UAE operations in the country to grow exponentially in the past 3 years.

Dr Ayoub Kazim, Executive Director, Dubai Knowledge Village and Dubai International Academic City, both members of TECOM Investments, said: “Dubai Knowledge Village is delighted to sponsor this important initiative by INJAZ-UAE. Such initiatives are integral to developing and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurial qualities among the youth that are essential to individual organizations and the economy as a whole. The objectives of INJAZ-UAE are consistent with the vision of the TECOM knowledge clusters and we look forward to supporting more such initiatives that aim to develop creativity and enterprise among the youth.”


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