The aim of the conference was to encourage new thinking, new ideas and advances in innovation for the development of businesses, particularly in the local and surrounding areas of the UAE’s East Coast region. It was organized by fourth-year students studying Small Business and Entrepreneurship courses in the Bachelor of Business Administration program, and was held at the HCT – Fujairah Women’s College campus.
Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor, Higher Colleges of Technology, officially inaugurated the conference in the presence of students, faculty, and several VIP visitors and speakers.
“Our presence here today is an expression of pride in our students as they demonstrate their creativity, initiative, and commitment to excellence. I hope that you see how students at the Higher Colleges of Technology are encouraged to aim high, think big, and put their creativity to practical use. You will see that these students exude confidence, ingenuity, and the commitment to use their talents in the service of the good,” Sheikh Nahayan said.
“Today we are also reminded that successful entrepreneurship depends on the ability of youth to innovate, to create new knowledge and new technologies, and to process and apply these innovations. High quality education, including learning from successful role models, can be a critical factor in the development of skills required in entrepreneurship: encouraging students to think �outside the box’, nurturing the values of critical thinking, and rewarding potentially good ideas even if they run aground, are important elements contributing to innovative thought and an entrepreneurial spirit,” he added.
Sheikh Nahayan commented on the strong emphasis on entrepreneurship in HCT’s business courses. “You will see in today’s activities how the quality and vision of HCT instruction has brought forth the best from the students. And you will see how the Bachelor of Business Administration program has allowed students to achieve original excellence, to let their imaginations be their limit, and to reach their highest goals and aspirations,” he said.
He added that the HCT “believes strongly that a successful entrepreneurship program will create employment options for our graduates and, in the process, facilitate national development and progress” which is shown in its programs.
“Our graduates leave the Colleges with the skills and habits of mind that are critical for success as entrepreneurs: flexibility, perseverance, and the ability to conceive and execute a project of a large scale. Their entrepreneurial spirit will serve them well as they seek to become leaders in the world of work,” he said.
Sheikh Nahayan also took time to visit a number of classrooms to watch Level 4 Foundation Program students showcasing the use of mobile technologies, such as the iPad 3, in classroom settings as part of the Federal Higher Education Mobile Learning Initiative which involves students from HCT, Zayed University and UAE University.
He also attended the launch and demonstration of “Qudurat”, which is a world class challenge course designed to help people “experience leadership from the inside out”. Qudurat provides programs for the development of teamwork and collaborative leadership in students, staff and community leaders.
Among the highlights of this year’s conference were guest speakers who shared with the audience their ideas and beliefs on how to be successful business operators and entrepreneurs.
Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology congratulated the conference organizers as it reinforces the commitment of students and faculty to firmly put HCT and the United Arab Emirates on the world map for innovation and entrepreneurship.
“In the UAE there is a real understanding that creative and innovative approaches to education and business are crucial to its growth and success, and this conference is helping to promote cutting-edge, innovative and entrepreneurial education concepts, which in turn facilitate the growth of a knowledge-based economy,” Dr. Kamali said.
“One of the Higher College’s strengths is its ongoing development of entrepreneurial studies and programs to encourage the next generation of future leaders as innovative business owners. Through this conference we are assisting our students to develop the skills required in entrepreneurship – encouraging students to think outside the box; encouraging creative activity and critical thinking; and supporting success,” he added.
“HCT continues to focus on its students being challenged and empowered through innovation, the use of relevant technologies, teaching excellence and student support programs that prepare each student with the knowledge, skills and values to succeed in a changing world,” Dr. Kamali concluded.
The all-day conference concluded with a series of creative and hands-on workshops where students will discuss, brainstorm and present ideas for the establishment of future businesses in Fujairah and the East Coast. The workshops offered the audience a chance to express their own thoughts and desires for starting a business and included discussion groups on issues such as how to start a business. These interactive workshops will help to inspire young people to begin thinking of starting their own businesses and even taking the first steps towards such goals.
As part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, HCT-Fujairah also hosted its highly successful LEQA (Learning from Entrepreneurs through Questions ‘&’ Answers) series on the evening of November 13, 2012. The sixth edition of the series featured a number of guest speakers who inspired the audience with information on how to succeed in local business.