Implementing the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s 6th Article of the 50-Year Charter
Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University leads the way in becoming a creative zone that supports innovation and entrepreneurship
Launch of the “University Entrepreneurship Program” to develop students' entrepreneurial skills
Program aims to encourage innovation and enable university students to launch startups
The Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) has signed partnership agreements with a number of universities and organizations in Dubai as part of the activation and implementation of the 6th Article of the 50-Year Charter, which reflects the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to transform universities into economic and creative free zones that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among students.
The signing ceremony was attended by HE Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Deputy Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation, HE Abdulla bin Touq, Secretary General of the UAE Cabinet, HE Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, in the presence of a large number of government officials and president of local universities.
During the meeting, the University Entrepreneurship Program was launched with the aim to accelerate the implementation of the Dubai University Free Zones Strategy in collaboration with various government entities, universities and research bodies. Universities adopting the program include, Zayed University, Higher Colleges of Technology, University of Dubai, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, American University in Dubai, and the College of Fashion and Design, Dubai.
The program aims primarily to support university students to start their entrepreneurial journey before graduating by providing them with skills and services that enable them to transform their ideas into well established businesses. It further aims to transform universities to entrepreneurial hubs where students have access to a supportive ecosystem of coaches, business experts, legal advisors, and much more, allowing them to work efficiently. All universities taking part in the project will adopt, develop and incorporate this program into their curriculum, as well as provide guidance for students and facilitate communication with investment agencies and organization to support student ideas and projects.
The University Entrepreneurship Program contributes to creating a suitable environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, employing modern technology in various vital sectors, and preparing young students for the future by developing their entrepreneurial capabilities through five main stages: learning about various successful experiences, understanding how projects and business models are developed, analyzing market needs in order to provide the required products and services, strengthen their marketing and commercial development skills and implementing and transforming ideas to reality.
The program was developed in collaboration with Dubai Future Foundation, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), TECOM and In5 in order to provide funding opportunities for entrepreneurs and facilitate access to commercial licensing. Additionally, the Dubai Government Legal Affairs Department, Dubai Government Media Office, AREA 2071, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund have also contributed to the establishment of the newly announced program.
HE Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, explained that the launch of the program supports the successful implementation of the “University Free Zones Strategy” and the move to achieve the objectives set out in the 50-year Charter, which reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council. He stressed the need to integrate the efforts of relevant entities and work in the spirit of one team to ensure that the objectives set out within the charter have been met; pointing out his happiness to the rapid response for entities to the implementation of the Charter’s objectives and how this step is a testament to the willingness and aspiration to realize leadership’s vision for the future of Dubai.
For her part, HE Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office, praised the efforts of the Dubai Future Foundation in translating the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the expected role of youth in enhancing and developing the economic sector of the UAE, and the foundation’s keenness to bring out the productive potential of our youth to boost their presence on the economic map of Dubai by transforming universities into economic and creative free zones.
Al Marri went on to express the Government of Dubai Media Office’s pride to collaborate with the Dubai Future Foundation in supporting the University Entrepreneurship Program, stating: “Dubai has chosen creativity as an ally in its journey towards the future, and our wise leadership provides support and encouragement for creative individuals, entrenching the UAE’s position as a hub for innovation in the region. The launch of this program represents a first step in a promising journey aimed at empowering youth, and the development of educational curriculums that will further integrate the youth in the field of innovation and creativity to provide project ideas and initiatives that can benefit the community and the country as a whole”.
HE Khalfan Juma Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said that the launch of this initiative in partnership between the public and private sectors represents a practical step towards the activation of the outcomes of the Dubai University Free Zones Strategy which was announced in March this year by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of DFF.
“The various government and private entities involved in University Entrepreneurship Program are working closely on a number of joint projects and initiatives aimed at accelerating the development of an integrated ecosystem that encourages innovation and leadership among students to allow them to transform their innovative ideas into leading businesses and projects that contribute to the future economic sectors in Dubai”, he added.
From his side, Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of Hamad Bin Mohammed Smart University said: “part of our endeavor is to instill a culture of entrepreneurship among youth, especially university students, and pursuant to Article 6 of the Dubai 50-Year Charter, we are proud to partner with this project to transform universities into creative free zones that support students in education, research, and finance to become key players in the economy. Our participation falls in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the University, to create an advanced learning environment that supports the requirements of the future and shapes future entrepreneurs and knowledge ambassadors rather than job seekers.
Dr. Al Awar concluded: “This new strategic partnership is important because it represents an integrated framework to support Dubai Future Foundation's efforts to promote a culture of entrepreneurship among young people, especially university learners, and support them through our advanced portfolio of digital materials, quality programs and important courses aimed at providing our learners with the in-depth knowledge and expertise necessary to achieve excellence in the world of entrepreneurship including the Master of Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership program, which is an important addition to our continuing success in changing the aspect of education and promoting the culture of entrepreneurship through a unique educational and research product that meets the aspirations of learners and entrepreneurs”.