Friday 23 November 2012

The entrepreneur chooses a winner

Entrepreneur LouLou Khazen Baz won with Nabbesh, an inspired skill sharing business supporting women, youth and SMEs.

Congrats on the win. Lou Lou received 2 million UAE dirhams to develop her business further. 

Monday 19 November 2012

Why the Entrepreneurship Revolution is Critical for the Arab World

By 2020 over 100 million job seekers will have entered the job market in the Arab World. This, according to some sources, is from an overall population of just 372 million. The strain this population bubble is already placing on the job market and resources is unprecedented in the Region.

How will the impending skyrocketing jobless rate for youth impact the stability and daily life within the region? The recent shortage of youth jobs has already been sited as part of the fire which fuelled the Arab Spring. The sheer numbers of placements needed are no longer manageable by adding more government jobs. The dream of a government job for life has been eroded for most.

That leaves only the creation of new jobs. Investors to build organisations may be part of the solution when areas of the region cool down, but no solution alone is likely to reach the scale of new jobs needed. Entrepreneurship is becoming survival.

With technology,  inexpensive communication interconnectivity and access to knowledge, skills and learning, exporting knowledge based solutions has become possible and is happening.

While at the International Startup Festival in Montreal this summer, a Startup CEO of an online marriage counselling site asked me how to hire programmers and coders from Palestine. Why Palestine? The nature of our dialogue didn't allow me to delve deeper, however the interaction brings focus on a small wedge of the pie of possibility.

The ecosystem of entrepreneurship is weak in the region. A majority of business success has historically revolved around trading, and importing.

It's time for local and resident entrepreneurs to focus their energies on developing exportable knowledge based services and homegrown solutions which fit their community's cultures, lifestyles and unique problem sets. Easier said than done with complicated bureaucracy, a distinct lack of mentors and a culture of interfering investors and a business culture which doesn't make an exit part of the plan let alone a strategy.

But think about the realm of the possibilities. We write future history through our actions today. It's time to get to work and be part of the entrepreneurship revolution.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Ban Ki-Moon UN Secretary General on collaborating in our interconnected world.

SEO and the ICEMAN are Dead

SEO is Dead from Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr shares insite into Google's new SEO approach on the slides above.

Finally - a new discovery... as if we didn't know.

People don't like to read intrusive, uninvited advertising. Content created for SEO is uninteresting.

Stories should be created for the reader/listener/viewer.

Back to basics; let's communicate in a natural way. Captivating, relevant content re-rules!

My guidelines for successful content:

  1. Keep it real
  2. Be authentic, be human
  3. Be you - you are interesting! 
  4. Be relevant to your intended audience
  5. Don't try to sell - all those guys who told you they could sell ice to eskimos... where are they now? Did they create a global ICE e-commerce business yet? 
Don't die with the Iceman and SEO. Keep on keepin' on with interesting conversation. 

Saturday 17 November 2012

An Entrepreneur to Watch: Jaber Henzab, Young Qatari Inventor and Winner

While attending the wrap up dinner for the Global Entrepreneurship Week Qatar last night, I was fortunate enough to connect with a pleasant, matter of fact Jaber Henzab. Jaber is a recent graduate of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A and M University, Oct 2012 winner of a Stars of Science award, inventor of an automated dispenser of medication and inspiring entrepreneur.

He is one of those people that squeezes the quality out of every opportunity life offers and during his studies at Texas Aand M he participated in 5 internships around the globe from Germany to Japan and including Porsche and Toyota.

Jaber shared some of his internship experiences, one of which was life changing.  Jaber's most significant lesson was one of self awareness and personal development. Through his internship experiences, Jaber decided he wanted to be in charge of his own future when he graduated. He did not set out to be an inventor, but his passion for entrepreneurship and independence led him there.

Jaber developed a prototype of Tahi using his own resources, sought out and worked with star mentors from Education City and won significant prize money from the Stars of Science TV experience. Tahi now has investors lined up to support the development work ahead.

This is one young man to watch.

Wish you best of luck Jaber!

Global Entrepreneurship Week Qatar Wrap Up

Dr Rachel Awad presents a prize to winners of ..

Thursday 15 November 2012

Collaboration Poll

Going Beyond the Hive at Network Connect - Startup Collaboration

Master Connectors Cross Disciplines to Solve Problems

This group's diverse background consisted of ten countries of origin and professional backgrounds from Technology, Construction, Design, The Arts, Entrepreneurship, Youth Community, Education, Management Consulting,  Fashion, Retail, Luxury Brands, and Social Media.  

Collaboration, support and problem solving rocked. The lesson: mix it up.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Q&A With Suzanne Grant - Collaboration & Startups

Entrepreneur, Suzanne Grant - collaboration a key success factor for local and international business

Why is collaboration important to entrepreneurship?

Startups usually have limited resources, from cash to talent. So they can benefit from helping each other out. Kind of like old-fashioned barter. What is special about entrepreneurs, however, is their wonderful openness to help one another. We are all learning along the way, and today as soon as you get used to a new technology, tool or process it changes. Nobody can make it alone – at least not to potential. If you look at collaboration as part of your strategic tool kit, you have the opportunity of making progress faster with your existing resources.

Are social media and internet tools the answer for collaboration?
I have personally developed solid business relationships starting from Internet and social media connections. But a majority of people are still using these tools in the wrong way. Whether face-to-face or using Linked in Groups, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc principles of collaboration still apply.

Too often I see people trying really hard to “sell” their products or services without working on building a connection.  Social media is all about being social. And when it comes to selling – how can you do that successfully without knowing the person you are interacting with – at least just a little.

Collaboration starts with connection and we all seek this as human beings To seek connection is completely natural, but somewhere along the way, growing up,  we became shy and forget our instincts.

People can develop themselves. Shy people can be charismatic. I think I have managed to do that, although I am still learning too. We can always be better.

How can collaboration be strategic?
We can collaborate at many levels. Collaboration can lead to friendships and thought leadership. It can be for charity. Aligning our collaboration energy with our business mission is where we can take it to a strategic level. 

Network Connect Startup Collaboration


Tuesday 13 November 2012

Expert set to share experience with budding entrepreneurs Wednesday, 14 November 2012

DOHA: Opportunities that collaboration offers when starting up a new business will be the main topic of a workshop organised by 8Ovate Canada and The Youth Company Qatar, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The event will take place today at Crowne Plaza Hotel, from 7 to 9 pm.
Suzanne Grant (pictured), CEO of 8Ovate and entrepreneur that left Qatar two years ago, is back in Doha to share her knowledge and experience after founding projects such as Qatar Happening magazine.
She added that starting up a business in Qatar can be difficult at first without contacts. In this context, she encouraged other entrepreneurs to interact with peers that are experiencing the same problems and discover the skills their own personality has to offer. 
Grant talked to The Peninsula about the effectiveness of social media to build strong business relationships. 
Nevertheless, she added that “the majority of people are still using these tools in the wrong way, and try really hard to sell their products or services without building a connection”.
About the fields that offer opportunities for entrepreneurs in Qatar, Grant pointed towards development of online content in Arabic.
This businesswoman recommended future entrepreneurs to get solid legal advice before starting a business in Qatar because a partnership is very similar to a marriage. The Peninsula

Network Connect - Startup Collaboration Workshop at GEWQatar

Network Connect - Startup Collaboration Workshop
November 14, 2012 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Crowne Plaza, Doha, Qatar

You are invited to share collaboration secrets in a fireside chat/working session. Brought to you by 8ovate Canada and The Youth Company, Qatar as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. All GEW Qatar events are free.

@SuzanneMGrant has launched, built and supported countless local and international brands pushing the envelop of the possible. What's her key to success? She credits collaboration as one of the key factors behind business growth. From a bootstrapped one-woman startup to a multi-million dollar success story, multiple disciplinary global projects and enterprises, Suzanne relies on the same principles.

You are invited to share collaboration secrets in a fireside chat/working session. Build your own collaboration strategies to suit your natural style, interests and business objectives.

Looking for co-founders, investors, a talented team, strategic alliances, mentors or more clients?
Get a jump-start developing your collaboration strategy and skills with Suzanne and Qatar's entrepreneurs.

Register for free: Select the Youth and entrepreneurship stream for Wednesday 14 NOVEMBER.