(MENAFN Editorial) The Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, a first-of-its-kind initiative from Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, was officially inaugurated today by His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.
The opening ceremony also witnessed Sheikh Majid 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.
His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED; Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME and other senior officials were present at the ceremony.
First of its kind in the region, the Academy aims to provide existing and potential entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge they need to become future business leaders. An evolving calendar of programmes will ensure that the Academy accomplishes its vision of creating a generation of entrepreneurs capable of leading successful projects around the globe.
Dubai's efforts to take its SME leadership to the next level will be ably complemented by the Academy as it will offer innovative training to entrepreneurial talent across the region, eventually enhancing the role of SMEs in economic development.
The Dubai SME CEO thanked Their Highnesses Sheikh Majid for his presence and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, for his patronage to the ceremony, adding that Dubai SME will use its sector knowledge to help the Academy design courses that specifically target existing skills gaps.
"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 launchedin the UAE," said Al Janahi.
The 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 '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.
"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," added Al Janahi. 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 per cent in 2014.
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.'
Students enrolling at the academy will also have vast opportunities to network with peers and business leaders and also learn about new opportunities. More information on the Academy and its programmes will be available on www.sme.ae