(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Determined Emirati entrepreneurs will be backed by national funds that support small and medium sized enterprises to ensure full integration in the workforce, officials have said.
On Monday, the Ministry of Community Development organised Business Leadership Forum to connect over 20 determined entrepreneurs with national fund programmes that can help turn their business ideas on real grounds to enable them to lead independent lives.
Held in collaboration with Tamkeen of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the forum is part of the ministry's efforts to encourage people of determination to enter the business leadership field and provide them with suitable job opportunities that accommodate their abilities.
Ahmad Al Mulla, director of external relations for Tamkeen at the KHDA, said special training programmes help develop skills of employees and jobseekers of determination.
"We wanted to open a communication channel between supporting funds and people of determination to showcase some projects that show the potential of those with disabilities and their ability to contribute to their communities," said Al Mulla.
Ever since the rehabilitation programme was established this year, it has trained over 100 determined employees and helped recruit about 15 others in Dubai. "We measured their skills and helped lead them to the opportunities that suit them," he said.
"We want to empower young Emiratis by creating a comprehensive programme that allows them to tap into support funds and explore new business ideas."
It isn't just having a job
Al Mulla noted that the programme aims to ease up the procedures that People of Determination would take to start up their own business, showing them different platforms, be it digital or home-grown supported businesses. "We don't want them to rely on just having a job, we want them to be productive members in the society and diversify their income." He said now that facilities are provided, people of determination need to choose the right project that will be profitable to them.
The initiatives were the result of comprehensive discussions with all stakeholders, especially with an emphasis on identifying opportunities to further train and support Emirati entrepreneurs.
Wafa Hamad bin Sulaiman, director of the People of Determination Welfare & Rehabilitation Department in the Ministry of Community Development, said besides financial rewards to the people of determination for success and excellence in entrepreneurship and small enterprises, the ministry focuses on the e-platform for the employment.
"The ministry's goals are not limited to finding the capabilities of the determined people but also the employment of these creative minds and encourage them produce their products and compete internationally."
She said the ministry encourages federal ministries and government authorities to actively participate and support the ambitions of the people of determination towards works, accomplishment and innovation.
Vocational rehabilitation programmes are developed according to the requirements of the labour market to enable people of determination to build partnerships with microfinance providers and market their products.
The forum was organised to meet the goals of the national policy for the empowerment of people of determination, "My Community.A City for Everyone" initiative to support the people of determination, encourage them to enter the business leadership field.
Creativity gets support
Among the talents participated in the Business Leadership Forum was autistic 24-year-old Ahmed Al Hashimi, an administrative employee at the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).
Graduated with a high school degree from Dubai Carmel School, Ahmed is an Origami artist whose 3-D folded papers formed different shapes ranging from small flowers to large portraits of UAE leaders. His father Mohammed Al Hashimi said if his project is funded, the family may think of opening up a business for him.
"All government entities support people of determination and lift off the burden from the ministry by giving students the chance to innovate," Mohammed said. The Dubai Police and Dewa took up his son's work, after he won various art awards.
Ahmed was among the determined ones who presented their creative ideas along with Amany Al Nuaimi, a visually-impaired owner of a perfume project; Aisha Al Shamsi of physical disability who presented artworks; and Shaikha with hearing disability who displayed her painting project on cups, notebooks and mobile covers.