Sharjah Business Women’s Council’s (SBWC’s) Jeel initiative focused on creating a generation of entrepreneurs in the emirate of Sharjah, is a journey that began in December 2015 with 72 enthusiastic participants from Dibba Al Hisn. In collaboration with Education for Employment (EFE), they have successfully completed the first two phases of the programme, kicking off the third and penultimate phase earlier this month. By the closing of Jeel’s second phase, the participants had undergone rigorous training and partaken in competitive workshops testing their business acumen and skills of strategy.
The 3-day Business Ideation Boot Camp in the first phase was based on the curriculum of the Intel ® Youth Enterprise Ideation Camp, and taught young entrepreneurs and innovators to develop skills to increase the relevance, scalability and impact of their business ideas. 60 of the 72 who had registered received completion certificates. An exacting selection process for phase 2 followed, in which all of the 60 candidates were evaluated on their business pitches in positioning Dibba Al Hisn as a tourist destination. 33 made it to the second phase where they enrolled into the 70-hourEntrepreneurship & Business Development programme, which provided the candidates with the necessary tools to transform their business ideas into fully functioning enterprises. The recently launched phase 3 began on 11 December with 31 shortlisted candidates who showed the most promise at the end of phases 1 and 2. This new phase has brought with it a brand-new challenge where the selected participants have been pitching their business ideas before a distinguished jury of members.
The judging panel features individuals from diverse backgrounds and sectors so that they can provide valuable feedback and recommendations to each of the JEELparticipants on areas of improvement to strengthen their plans, turning them into viable propositions. Jeel has laid special emphasis on nurturing female entrepreneurs since its inception, and demographic analysis of phase three indicates that they have been successful in bringing women to the fore.…………….., SBWC said: “The turnout has been incredible throughout Jeel’s three phases.
We are especially pleased with the female participation throughout, which is93% in this third phase. SBWC’s strongest commitment is to empower women, making them financially independent and professionally fulfilled so that they can prosper in and with society. Women comprise half the world’s population, and subsequently half of the world’s workforce intelligence. Integrating them fully into the economy will only benefit the UAE prosper on all levels.”…………………., EFE said: “Jeel is a practical programme aimed at empowering aspiring entrepreneurs by shaping them into leaders of tomorrow.
The participant's commitment and passion to start their own businesses since the inception of this world-class initiative has been remarkable. Additionally, the enabling environment provided by SBWC has been the cornerstone for each participant’s success in carving a path out for themselves, taking the first steps towards establishing their own businesses.”………………, WAMDA remarked: “It was great to see the amount of conviction that came through in the various business pitches. Each project without exception utilised technology in one form of or another, which reflected the high-quality training and guidance they received at Jeel. I have to say that everyone who entrepreneurial passion can start a business, and with the right tools and support such as the one Joel is providing, a new generation of entrepreneurs can be nurtured.”“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of yesterday’s panel. It was a refreshing experience, and I was thoroughly impressed by the commitment, enthusiasm and innovative ideas that came forward during the pitches made. I wish all participants the very best for a bright future,” said ……………., Western Union.
Several of the pitched business plans exhibited immense potential. One of the most interesting outcomes of Jeel has been that 45% participants have stepped out in the real world testing their business prototypes, gaining first-hand feedback from the customer. They have understood the needs of the market, recognised competition, and learned about the practical challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The next and final phase of Jeel will see the execution of a personalised mentoring and coaching programme for 14 entrepreneurs who will be selected at the end of the third phase. Their progress will be followed up monthly as they work towards achieving the pre-agreed milestones in their journey of setting up business and add economic and social value to the Dibba Al Hisn community.
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