Dubai SME launches entrepreneurship academy

RetailME Bureau

Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has launched the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at providing existing and potential entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge they need to become future business leaders.

The opening ceremony also witnessed Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts authority, honouring the first batch of 104 graduates from the Academy. The new graduates included 57 males and 47 females who successfully completed the ‘Entrepreneurship Diploma’ and the ‘Professional Hospitality & Restaurant Management Certificate’ programmes offered at the Academy.

The Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy is a major addition to the Dubai SME services portfolio, which comprises varied programmes to identify, nurture, qualify and promote entrepreneurial talent and SME potential. The academy has announced a calendar of programmes to ensure that it accomplishes its vision of creating a generation of entrepreneurs capable of leading successful projects around the globe.

The ‘Entrepreneurship Diploma’ programme, which attracted a remarkable response in its first year, is a practice-oriented programme that enables graduates to advance their entrepreneurial ideas through successive stages, from feasible business plan to solid enterprise. The programme provides students with the skill and tools to evaluate their own business ideas and their market potential and devise sound financial and business development strategies.

The ‘Professional Hospitality & Restaurant Management’ programme aims to help entrepreneurs understand the service industry and plan, conceptualise and manage the business. Developed in partnership with the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, the programme has 18 modules, each dedicated to different aspects such as hospitality finance, profit & loss, food menu branding, staff planning & scheduling and customer service.

The calendar also includes programmes such as ‘How to attract funds and grow your business,’ ‘Think Creatively,’ ‘Creative problem solving,’ ‘Secrets of effective leadership for entrepreneurs,’ ‘Project at your home,’ ‘Be a successful negotiator in entrepreneurship,’ ‘Art of perfumes,’ My business step-by-step,’ ‘How to build a global brand,’ ‘Leadership excellence for women entrepreneurs,’ ‘Customer service excellence’ and ‘Entrepreneurs and self-confidence.’

“The Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy is a novel initiative, which will lead to a stronger support system for SME owners and future entrepreneurs and ensure that they have the necessary skills and experience to succeed. The programmes offered by this Academy will go a long way in turning entrepreneurial ideas into business plans and lead to more enterprises being launched in the UAE,” says Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME.

“We have a busier calendar for the year ahead and we will continue to add sector-specific and industry-relevant programmes, including training, online resources and e-learning programmes. A significant feature of the 2014 calendar will be a certificate programme in ‘Professional Retail Business Management’. The Academy also expects the number of enrolments to go up by 50% in 2014,” adds Al Janahi.