Saudi and Egyptian entrepreneurs present pioneering projects in technology, industry, and services.
The youth entrepreneurs participating in the "Rad 2023" forum and exhibition, organized by the Asharqia Chamber, represented by the Youth Business Council of the Eastern Province, presented innovative projects in various fields such as technology, industry, agriculture, services, and more. The event, held at Dhahran Expo, will continue until Wednesday, November 15, and has attracted increased interest from business men and women in the region, as well as professionals and enthusiasts in the field of entrepreneurship.
Asharqia Chamber aimed to make this year's forum and exhibition a unified platform, bringing together entrepreneurs from the Kingdom, their counterparts from the Arab Republic of Egypt, and major companies, banks, and business leaders from various industries in the Kingdom. The goal is to exchange experiences, showcase products, present new ideas, and connect with officials from funds, centers, and authorities involved in supporting entrepreneurship to understand the state's policies and directions in supporting entrepreneurial projects.
The chairman of Asharqia Chamber, Badr bin Suleiman Al-Riziza, affirmed that the exhibition constitutes a large meeting point for emerging entities from both Saudi Arabia and the sister Arab Republic of Egypt. This provided an opportunity for proactive youth from both countries to meet, exchange experiences, and become acquainted with each other's ventures, opening up new markets in various fields. He emphasized that the current edition of the exhibition focused on promoting the products and services of young entrepreneurs, raising awareness about the importance of initiative and entrepreneurship. Workshops were organized on selected topics related to commercial and industrial projects to enhance awareness of how to launch and sustain these projects. The exhibition primarily aims to encourage young people to present their ideas and innovations, contributing to the acceleration of economic development in the Kingdom.
Impact of Entrepreneurship in Technology
In the context of the scientific program of the forum, the dialogue sessions continued their activities. Participants in the third session discussed several important topics that entrepreneurs can turn into successful investment opportunities. The session focused on "The Impact of Entrepreneurship in Technology on the Economy in the Context of Vision 2030." Saud Al-Sabhan, Deputy Governor of Entrepreneurship Facilities, mentioned that continuous efforts are being made to make the entrepreneurial environment serve all services and various sectors, aligning with the presence of digital potentials and a distinctive infrastructure in the Kingdom. On his part, Mohdah Al-Shammary, Deputy CEO of Startup Banking at Riyadh Bank, explained that each sector and institution has factors and reasons that enable them to achieve their goals, and they all share the need for a digital infrastructure, which is a crucial factor for success and progress. Omar Al-Shabaan, CEO of "Al-Karaj" Incubator, emphasized that one of the most important growth factors is the presence of business incubators, as they serve as a launchpad for every entrepreneur.
Uses of Artificial Intelligence by Entrepreneurs
In the informative workshops held on the sidelines of the forum, presented by the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, the Human Resources Development Fund, the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Development Fund, and the Industrial Growth Incubator, participants clarified that entrepreneurs' use of artificial intelligence in entrepreneurial projects cannot replace humans but will elevate them as it allows them to explore in a different way. The participants also reviewed the support provided by the Nine Tenths program, which aims to offer free services to entrepreneurs to empower and assist them in achieving their success. They also discussed industrial business incubators and accelerators (Nathr and Nomo) and highlighted the challenges facing the industrial sector and the solutions offered, along with the essential programs to support and empower entrepreneurs in this field.
The dialogue session titled "Support for Entrepreneurial Projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," held on the sidelines of the forum, garnered significant interest from participants and visitors alike. Moderated by the CEO of Hoya, Ali Al-Humaidan, the session featured discussions by Abdullah Al-Shahri, Deputy General Manager of Small Enterprises Coverage at the Tourism Development Fund; Mohammed Al-Araifi, General Manager of Entrepreneurship Empowerment at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology; and Najla Al-Otaibi, a specialist in corporate communication and business development. They discussed the role of entrepreneurial projects in supporting the national economy and their ability to contribute to social sustainability. They emphasized that since the launch of the Vision, Saudi Arabia has placed great importance on youth-oriented projects.
Ambition to Enter Economic Work
Many exhibitors we met at the exhibition expressed their ambition to venture into economic work. Nasser Al-Khalaf, Sales Manager for the startup company "Goyn," which introduces a new innovation in agricultural production enhancers, such as wood vinegar and seed balls made from biochar and fertilizer, stated that they have great ambitions for expansion. He emphasized continuous development and commitment to quality as their real capital. He mentioned that, with determination and commitment, along with the significant commercial activity and support for entrepreneurial ideas in the country, their company aims to become influential in the local and regional markets.
A developer of the "Jiel" educational platform, focusing on enhancing Arabic language skills and instilling proper values in children in the early stages, emphasized that the platform's launch aligns with the growing interest in promoting Arab culture in the Arab world. The owner of an investment and entrepreneurship consultancy firm also highlighted the country's current phase of rapid growth and market openness, prompting him to establish a company providing business consultations and market studies for project development. Other entrepreneurs at the exhibition shared similar sentiments, seeing the event as a valuable opportunity to connect and learn from similar experiences.
The aspirations of entrepreneurs are diverse, with each corner telling a story of determination, perseverance, and success. There are stories of implemented ideas that expanded and succeeded, entering the world of finance and business, while others are on their way. For example, there is the corner of the Qassim Food Factory, which manufactures and distributes Eastern and Western sweets, operating according to the latest production lines. The factory's success has enabled it to spread and expand, with plans to further penetrate international markets.
Another example is the booth of Tektōn, an Egyptian company specializing in innovative architectural engineering, interior designs, and uniquely designed wooden furniture. Despite intense competition and limited capital, this company, founded in 2018 by two entrepreneurs, has successfully advanced in the Egyptian market, developing their small business in the furniture sector.
The event is expected to feature a dialogue session titled "Angel Investment Experience in the Region and Its Role in the Entrepreneurial Business Environment," which has garnered significant interest from participants and visitors alike. The session will be moderated by a member of the Eastern Youth Business Council, Mohammed Al-Mughlouth. Speakers include the founder and CEO of Core Vision Investment Company, Faisal Al-AbdulSalam, and the co-founder and CEO of "we Energy," Basal Al-AbdulKarim. Another dialogue session titled "Eastern Initiative Innovates" will be moderated by Afnan Al-Ghareeb, with speakers from the Eastern Innovation Initiative and representatives from companies involved in urban development.