Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and Mediaquest – one of the leading media companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), today announced that they will launch the Arabian Entrepreneurship Festival. The event will take place in Dubai on October 21 – 22, 2014.
The Arabian Entrepreneurship Festival (AEF) has been developed to support the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) community across MENA markets including corporations, business owners and entrepreneurs. The event will provide an opportunity for SME businesses to trade, find solutions for sustainable growth, promote their business offering, share ideas and celebrate success stories.
The SME sector is at the heart of private sector employment in the Middle East and North Africa and accounts for an estimated at 19-23 million (formal and informal) in number, comprising 80-90 percent of total businesses in most countries in the region. Access to finance is one of the greatest challenges facing SMEs across the globe, and particularly for MENA.
This event follows Zawya’s launch of Businesspulse which is an online intelligence portal for SME businesses that brings together a number of partners and companies from across private and government sectors. The portal, launched in 2013, offers a choice of value-added services and support for SME businesses.
The festival will feature a series of informative panel debates and interactive workshops covering a range of topical issues facing the SME community such as managing cashflow, financing options, finding and retaining talent, marketing on a budget as well as master-classes to sharpen pitching skills. A key component of the event will be a marketplace aimed at promoting SME products and services from across banking, technology, legal, education, marketing and human resources. The festival will culminate in an awards ceremony to recognize successes within the SME community.
Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Middle East, Africa and Russia / CIS, Thomson Reuters said: “We are committed to supporting Government strategy throughout Middle East and North Africa in promoting and developing a thriving entrepreneurial community by acknowledging the importance of entrepreneurism for economic growth, innovation, employment and investment. This region has strong socio-economic development plans for the SME segment to expand, diversify and encourage competitiveness. The AEF is designed to provide this vital community with the support needed to promote their business, connect with stakeholders as well as access the services and information needed to develop to its full potential.”
Alexandre Hawari, Co-Chief, Executive Officer, Mediaquest, said: “We are delighted to bring to this partnership the expertise of SMEInfo.me – one of our leading websites and the go-to resource for SMEs. The Arabian Entrepreneurship Festival is a unique platform to collaborate, empower and celebrate what comprises 90 percent of Middle East businesses, the SMEs. We look forward to utilising this event as an avenue to share best practices and collectively contribute to the growth of the SME community across the region.”