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MBA scholarships at MBS

Manchester Business School Worldwide is offering regional scholarships for MBA programmes to mark the opening of its new centre for the Middle East at Dubai Knowledge Village. Scholarships cover 25% of tuition fees for courses starting January 2007, and are open to students resident in non-GCC countries.

AMEinfo.com Thursday, October 26 - 2006 at 15:04

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Youth Business International - An IBLF Initiative


Youth Business International a part of International Business Leaders Forum. YBI brings together the business world, the society and the government. The expertise of these is used to create a platform for young disadvantaged people to step out of their world and compete in the real world of entrepreneurship. It is targeted for people in the age group of 18-35.

YBI has representative organizations working in many countries which work towards common goals. YBI has achieved considerable success up till now. It has helped 14000 youngsters to set up their business in 30 YBPs around the world. Around 72% of these youngsters are still successful running their business with every new entrepreneur creating at least 3 jobs.

The secret for their success lies in the mentorship program which is a must for every new business funded by YBI. Each entrepreneur who receives funding is allocated a business mentor. The business mentor acts as a consultant and helps the entrepreneur through the ups and downs of the business.

YBI is supported by many international organizations which adds value to its repute and trustworthiness. Among the partners a few notable ones are KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, British Petroleum, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, Rotary International, World Bank etc.

YBI is currently not available everywhere. The organization needs support from local sponsors and organizations in order to expand. It is pretty surprising that Saudi Arabia is the only Gulf country which has an YBP. In the United Arab Emirates there is substantial amount of potential for YBI but its presence is missing.

by Afiq (AUS BizzWhizz Correspondent)

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Bizz Gossip - Virtual Realty Virtually Real


A report by BBC featured how China is exploting the new industry of trading virtual expertease for real money. "Paying real money for virtual items in this ‘world’ is just the tip of the iceberg" they said. So games like 'World of Warcraft' or an older one 'Age of Empires' require players to build 'virtual' credit and wealth after tiresome hours of efforts and tactical play. But those who are on a fast lane and don't want to spend the time spend the money.

"It is estimated the market in buying and selling these virtual game items is already worth nearly $900m (dhs3.3 billion) and so-called ‘gold-farming’ factories are springing up all over China. In the town of Wuxue, one of China’s newest industries is taking off. The noise of computer generated monsters being slain in cyberspace rings out as twelve young Chinese men sit huddled over computer screens in a dingy room on the first floor."(7days reported)

$900 million is no joke and these gold farmers are on it. These young programmers in China get paid about $100-$250 a month and work on 12 day shifts. Heather Gore of Internet Gaming Entertainment, the world's largest marketplace provider for farmers and power levelers says, the secondary gaming market could be worth $9 billion to $10 billion annually by 2009, when it likely will surpass the game-publishing market."

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Bizz Talk - Facilities Management in the Gulf to be US$ 892 billion

An emerging market always give birth to new industries. Such a phenomenon has been witnessed in the gulf. The present real estate boom already has created and boomed industries like construction, real estate brokerage, finance and ofcourse facility management.

Facility Management is no doubt the horse to bet on. We all can see how fast infrastructure, buildings, hotel resorts and such are being constructed. Although the supply of houses and offices is being outstripped by demand but soon it will catch up and the growth would reach its equilibrium. But Facility Management which is already growing steady would become a more sustainable industry. "The figures released by Middle East Strategy Advisors (MESA) show that the FM market in the UAE alone is potentially worth US$ 704 billion, with the markets in Saudi Arabia and Qatar worth US$ 96 billion and US$ 92 billion respectively." A feature on Facility Management by AMEinfo gives a more detailed picture. Ofcourse the major share of real estate growth is Dubais'.

So the young entrepreneurs who are interested in the real estate market or are connected with it should start looking into FM as a prospective future business option. Gulf cuntries targetting to become tourists atrraction won't keep witnessing the real estate turnover with influx of buyers and sellers. They would no doubt always have the demand for time share facilities, managed apartments, hotel apartments, service offices and such. So buckle up and explore the growing industry of Facility Management. The local FM industry can be looked into by following the FM Expo. Ofcourse in FM Dubai is no doubt the best place to start from. Although we have a lot of international companies present but early starters can always make their mark strong until the market matures.

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Toastmasters- Making Art of Communication a Worldwide Reality

Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit? Do you think you have the power of communication to make it to the real world of business? If not, consider Toastmasters.

Toastmasters is an international organization with local presence all over the word. Their objective is to develop the art of public speaking and leadership skills within the people who have the desire to achieve something.

How does it work? Members at a local club meet once in a week, a club usually consists of 20-30 members. They learn to speak in front of a group within a cooperative environment. Every meeting gives a chance to practice.
Benefits of joining a toastmasters club: -

  • Improvement in public speaking, which will help a person to overcome nervousness in social situations.
  • Develops leadership skills, every member is given a leadership role at some point or the other.
  • Widens the social network, you get to meet different people from various backgrounds every week. They may develop into long term contacts.
  • Chance to participate in the national and international public speaking competition organized by Toastmasters International.
  • Being a part of this club gives an added touch to your resume. The name toastmasters sell.

Attending two or three meetings before joining a club is a requirement so that the person feels at ease with the way the club is being run and gets an understanding of the type of people present in the group.

In the UAE, there are many active Toastmasters club and the networks of these clubs are continuously expanding. There is a lot that could be said about how great the toastmasters’ network is but it would be much better to visit their website and actually become a part of it instead of just reading about it. It is all about getting into the real world instead of sitting in the comfort zone and thinking about it. Visit the website and it may change your life forever.


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the business of introducing privatized companies into the market: how fair is fair?

Disclaimer: The following is a personal business opinion and could possibly be viewed as biased or irrelevant;

The GCC states are now trying to look at several options to diversify their economy and loosen up their debt to the international loaning institutions by opening up the country to tourism and privatizing their closed subsidiaries.

And as much as it is a good method to go about; it is also a method that cuts both ways.

For as the tourism industry is one of the most needy industries that requires the attention of all money rendering sectors of the country. As an entity it also feeds on other factors as well, it may well influence on the need to loosen up a country politically; environmentally; socially; and business-wise.

This brings me to the argument of introducing previously government owned businesses into the market in order to loosen the country's debt. This method would not only allow the inroduction of the idea of competiton into the private sector but will also allow a unfair advantage to these companies since they have had the backing of the government for such a long time and the only sense would be to pull out all fundings when another source of finance is found to run thr company. Not to mention the tremendous amount of friction that is caused in management issues during the transition period.

The sense of introducing privatized companies means that there has to be a carefully based plan outlined for at least the transition period until the company is fully privatized unlike unhealthy competition that happens in the examples of OmanTel along Oman Mobile versus Nawras.

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Bahrian Business Incubator Centre

Bahrain Business Incubator Center's (BBIC) establishment is a continuation of the Kingdoms policy to improve efficiency and foster the growth of small and medium enterprises through its team of experts and its affiliation with national & international entities. Targetting the success of the program by ensuring the firms leave the program financially viable and freestanding.
This will strengthen existing economy and built a more sustainable one with the SMEs and local talent as its strong pillars. The ultimate purpose of establishing the Business Incubator Centre is the economic development of the country and the creation of jobs by:
  1. Creating new businesses.
  2. Improving the efficiency of SMEs
  3. Improving the performance of SMEs
  4. Promoting the development of closer links between larger manufacturing firms and samll enterprises.
  5. Supporting Innovation.
  6. Encouraging entreprenurship.
  7. Helping new businesses grow faster, thus creating more jobs.

I have not been able to find from the website if the elegibility criteria has a nationality clause. But from the looks it comes across as a business centre providing services at subsadized rates. BBIC's website does not talk about extending fundings to new ideas or having any tieups with venture capital firms.

More information can be obtained by contacting them directly on :

Bahrain Business Incubator Centre
+ Tel: 358888, Fax: 466646
+P.O.Box.50450. Kingdom of Bahrain

If more information is obtained by the bizzwhizzdubai's team it will be posted asap.


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Bizz Talk - Upcoming Opportunities with ME Airports


Well not only is the real estate booming but so is tourism and ofcourse the related infrastructure to support the growth. Gulf News reported that according to a recent report the spending on Middle East's booming airports will top $32 billion over the next few years.
I think it is an indicator that entrepreneurs can build sound businesses as long as they can focus. An industry which will span over a few years and will consume $32 billion is a no doubt fair game. Ofcourse local companies feel that such huge developments always go for the best in the world, but I feel otherwise. I think in order to stand out companies will have to focus. Not only do clients pay price for the best in the world but they also do for specialists.

The major airport expansions in the region are:
  • Dubai World Central International Airport
    The airport will have an annual cargo capacity of 12 million tons, more than three times that of Memphis, today's largest cargo hub, and a passenger capacity of more than 120 million - almost 50% more than Atlanta, currently the world's busiest passenger airport.
  • Doha International Airport
    The Doha International in getting a Multi Billion dollar expansion. Business Opportuities can be explored by anyone interested.
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport
    Abu Dhabi last year announced a Dh21 Billion expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

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Event Clutter

Is it me or there is a growing clutter of events in Dubai and, now after Abu Dhabi joined the race, in the whole of UAE. Just a look at the exclusive events targetted towards leaders and entrepreneurs I came across these five:

  • International Entrepreneurship Forum & Exhibition
    DUBAI TO HOST WORLD'S BIGGEST GATHERING OF ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS LEADERS. (which had claims to become an annual event but I think never did.)
  • Abu Dhabi World Leadership Summit
  • Leaders in Dubai
    Business Forum
  • Entrepreneurship 2010
    Creating a Dynamic, Vibrant and Competitive Economy
  • Emirates Millionaire Show

So what exactly happened at Abu Dhabi Leadership Summit that was so different from Leaders in Dubai except probably the speakers got a good payday due to parallel bidding. I wonder even if participants from countries other than UAE get value for money in such events. Although no doubt it is a good business model, infrastructure is already at place, as long as the speakers price is paid they'll be more then happy to lecture. And then charge corporate clients a hell lot of money to attend.


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AIESEC - Globally and Locally


AIESEC is a non profit student run organization established in 1948. It has offices in over 90 countries with the membership counter hitting 18000. It is running with its motto ‘The international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential’.

AIESEC creates a difference through four different opportunities/activities:
1.) Working Abroad- The organization helps students get exchange internships in different parts of the world. It is able to create 3500 exchanges each year in different field.

2.) Leadership Experience: - With over 700 offices worldwide, it gives students a chance to demonstrate their leadership abilities. Nearly 5000 leadership positions are held by students all over the world. Students gain the experience that it takes to be a leader of an organization.

3.) Conferences: - AIESEC organizes 350 conferences each year. Conference is a great way to train and develop AIESEC members. It also provides an opportunity to utilize leadership skills, learn new things and to widen their network.

4.) Learning Networks: - AIESEC members stay connected virtually and by personal meetings which enable them to develop their knowledge about topics like HIV/AIDS, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship.

AIESEC is much more than the points mentioned over here. It is the student voice; it gives students the power and confidence to achieve something big in life apart from the usual college activities.

The best part about AIESEC is that it has programs specifically designed for each country. Like for example in UAE it has special program for UAE Nationals called The Qiyada program. For more information on the program and how the overall AIESEC experience works, visit the website. Based in Dubai Knowledge Village AIESEC UAE is set to align its visions and activities with the cities growing hunger for success.
by Afiq our AUS correspondent

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Oman Business News

To catch up with the rest of the western world in terms of business administration, the Sultanate of Oman is now considering tweaking the weekend from a Thursday and Friday to a Friday and Saturday. This will allow the private sector in Oman to lessen its losses in terms of communication and financial agreements between the two 'worlds'. It is expected to have this change come into effect after the Eid Al Fitr holidays which will probably be around the 24th of October, 2006.

Other exciciting news from the local media is about the recent Financial Trade Agreement between the government of the Sultanate of Oman and the United States of America - the FTA will come into effect by the beginning of the new year, thus allowing private businesses from both countries to embark on competitive ventures in relatively agreed policies marked in the FTA.

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Pakistan SEB's Young Entrepreneur Incubation


Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) is a government entity charged with the task to upbringing IT and software related business and allow them to command international standings. Being a business support mechanism it steps up to recognize that IT has its growth pegged on the young generation than any.
The 'Resources for Young Entrepreneurs' section provides a step by step guide for establishing and successfully running an IT business. An in-depth reading of the various sections proves to be very educatitve. What caught my attention the most was the office space rents, 40(PRs)/sq ft which is around 2 AED. We are all not new to the 'Out Sourcing' concept but having access to a proper setup and a growing talent pool keeps bring me back to the same business model. But ofcourse sky is the limit when creative people get down to work. A look at the Office Space section shows that all the offices in the major cities are completely rented out with companies registering on waiting lists. This shows how much of a successful business model PSEB has been able to create.

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Qatar's SMEs to have own industrial zones

Qatar's small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) are to have their own industrial zones according to Minister of Energy and Industry, Abdulla bin Hamad Al Attiyah. The local Press quoted Al Attiyah as telling members of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) that a one million square meter zone had been set aside in the country's southern industrial city of Mesaieed and a second zone, four times larger, is being planned.

"The energy and industry ministry is laying ample emphasis on SMEs as they hold the key to making the country's strategic economic diversification plan a success," said Al Attiyah. Smart observation by the Qatari authorities and yes it is the SMEs which do form the back bone of economy. Global giants have a lot of inertia and can sometimes just vanish into thin air like Enron. Must be good place to keep eyes open for, incase any young entrepreneur is planning an industrial setup. I think what will make this SME zone from any of the other regional freezones is that it is being put together with SMEs in mind and thus would have relatively easy requirements in terms of capital and paper work.

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Al Tomooh - Startup Business Incubator

"Al Tomooh means ambition- the Ambition that rests in the heart of the entrepreneur - an appropriate name for a financial scheme designed to stimulate creativity and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit amongst UAE Nationals. "

Al Tomooh is the Brainchild of HE Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, the Chairman of Emirates Bank. Ofcourse has blessings of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Department of Economic Development. Al Tomooh is a financial scheme designed to support small businesses whose total required investment cost does not exceed AED2 million.
A very throughly laid out and structured business startup fund. The selection criteria is tough and from the sections such as "Making of an Entrepreneur" it can be seen how quality guidence and mentoring is extended to the young guns. A look at the approved projects shows the efforst in actions. Some of the approved projects are :

and many more which can be seen at Al Tomoohs website. The list of preferred businesses in very diverse and this is proved by looking at the sucess stories section which talks about a blue chip business.

But remember its a UAE National ONLY initiative.!!


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University to mould entrepreneurs

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, has approved the setting up of an Entrepreneurship Development Cell at the University of Kerala to train students of science courses and mid-career scientists in basic business skills.

The DST has sanctioned Rs.6.5 lakh as recurring expenditure for five years and Rs.3.41 lakh as non-recurring expenditure for setting up the EDC (around Rs.35 lakh).

The primary aim of the cell will be to provide students of science programmes in the teaching department and in the affiliated colleges the management wherewithal to set up companies or laboratories dealing with various aspects of science and research.

Science entrepreneurs

A senior university academic associated with the framing of the proposal said here that at present such students did not have any training to become `science entrepreneurs.'
"They may possess a lot of technical skills. But if, for instance, a student of the fisheries programme wishes to set up a hatchery, or a student of another science course wishes to start a laboratory he just will not know how to go about it. Such persons have to be scientists as well as good businessmen. The EDC will focus on the latter part," he explained.
The Institute of Management in Kerala (IMK) - that was closely associated with the framing of the project proposal - is expected to come up with the syllabus for the training programmes.
The idea is to develop training modules that can then be offered as electives in the credit and semester PG programmes of the university's teaching departments. For students in the affiliated colleges, this training can be offered either as short courses outside the curriculum or be dovetailed into the syllabus.

On the drawing board

Though such a curriculum is still on the drawing board, the university has already identified some aspects that should necessarily be part of the training modules.
This includes field training for students to give them a first-hand exposure to the running of companies and laboratories and rigorous training in methods of drawing up business and research proposals to be submitted to various funding agencies.
According to sources in the university, the EDC will also focus on imparting business skills to mid-career scientists. As for the students, the IMK will also draw up a training module that will answer the distinct needs of mid-career scientists who wish to turn entrepreneurs.

Revenue earner
Apart from benefiting scientists working in the State, this venture is also expected to bring in revenue to the university. Along with this, the EDC is also expected to frame a `train-the-trainer' programme to orient members of the faculty of science, commerce and the management departments so that they are part of the core training team at the cell.
A competency training centre, an industry incubation centre and a women's empowerment centre will also be established under the EDC, sources in the university said.

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DIFX Academy, Ecole Sign MOU

DUBAI, 13 October 2006 — The Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) Academy and the Ecole Superieure des Affaires (ESA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in educational matters, including running joint courses. These include an introduction to options, futures and other derivatives workshop for two days, an advanced derivatives workshop for two days and several Islamic finance courses. The roll out of the first course is scheduled in November 2006 and both plan to jointly launch a variety of additional activities early 2007.

ArabNews

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Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training


CERT (Centre of Excellence for Applied Research & Training) is the commercial arm of the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates and is in the business of developing and providing education, training and applied technology for public and private sector clients.

Some of its laurals include, being estimated as thelargest private education provider in the Middle East and is developing education and knowledge projects throughout the MENA region, having signed the largest Telematics deal in history, with IBM, to develop Telematics technology in the United Arab Emirates and posessing the CERT Blue Gene supercomputer which offers 5.7 teraflop calculating speed to corporate clients for use in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and genetics research as well as oil and gas simulation.

Not a business incubator or an entrepreneurial kindergarton but is not doubt one of the places where the future of nations get built. After being in a US alma mater I realised that R&D is the corner stone on which societies and economies are built. CERT will not only bridge the gap between industry and academia but also allow young blue chip entrepreneurs, access to a hi-tech park where they can build what they dream.

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bizzwhizzDubai - Arabiacalling : Handshake

I've been invited by BizzWhizzDubai to participate in contributing to this blog BusIneSS WHIZZards' Dubai in response to my inviting the team of bizzwhizzdubai to contribute in Arabia Calling. Both of which discuss seriously intellectual topics.

But whereas Arabia Calling takes it in from a general point of view of it's contributors and sets no standard as of yet apart from the obvious keeping to a modest language rating; BizzWhizzDubai's blog takes a more specific financial general outlook at how the financial sector of the GCC and compares it as such to the likes of growing economies like Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia, and most importantly - Dubai. I'm hoping to add my bit quite soon once I get a read on some of the topics that have been discussed.

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Business Tips - Before you Jump iN

A good business strategy is immperative for anyone who wants to start or is new in business. The fact that business will be successful or not is a big question mark, but the probability of sucess can be optamised by keeping some fundamentals in mind. Following are some of the key issues to consider:

  1. Develop understanding about the scale of business i.e international or domestic.
  2. Decision about the nature of business i.e goods, services or entertainment.
  3. One must know about the level of the risk involved.
  4. General formula of calculating success in business is : NONE
    But a business success can be atributed to the underlaying principles. This means that if a business is a triditional business it will strive to maxamise its revenue and minimize its costs. However in the case of online business ventures usually a best practice is to target capital apppriciation and not day to day earnings.
  5. Identification of competition is a primary task which should not be neglected.If the market possesses a lot of competition then the idea should be dropped. There is nothing common then great ideas which fail to make it big.Market research is a must i.e one should have complete details about the number of the competitors working successfully in the market.
  6. A good organization leads a successful business. It is said that an A+ team can make a B- idea work and a B- team can make an A+ idea fail. In many business plans and venture capital scrutinizing session often management team is a question which gets thoroughly grilled.
  7. Pricing and placement is another issue young businesses overlook. Being the cheepest doesnt mean your going to become the consumer heartthrob. Often when the care makers come up with new models they hire market intelligence firms who conduct extenisve market surveys before coming up with pricing structures. Therefore know the market, know the competition and then carefully decide on pricing and product placement.
  8. Choosing a good location is very important for business success. The places which record the most footsteps, e.g. malls, city centers etc, are the best options. But then again ofcourse the choice of location depends on the nature of business, i.e. if it requires direct customer interaction, or it is a behind the curtains operation and is of B2B nature. Therefore striking a balance between location and cost of setup is essential.
  9. "You have to live, to fight another day" somebody once said and are the golden words entrepreneurs need to always remember. Usually young entrepreneurs have to go through a lot of hard and odd jobs. For example I (Sirwan) worked in hotels-restaurant etc but only to survive, and I did it as means of supporting my study and my Goal of becoming a 3D Animator. So always focus on your goal but do not hesitate to do whatever is required of you.

The article is authored by Sirwan 3D Animator from sydney and co-authored and edited by vOid. For more information on 3D animation business you can leave comments here or send us an email.


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Arab Regional Centre for Entrepreneurship & Investment Training


The “Arab Regional Centre for Entrepreneurship and Investment Training (ARCEIT)”Bahrain, is the result of joint efforts of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the State of Bahrain and the Inter Regional Centre for Entrepreneurship and Investment Training (IRC). Bahrain identified as the Regional Focal Point Country for the Arab Region by IRC and thus became the harbouring groud for ARCEIT.

It has a vission that is broad yet focused on the goal of fostering nurturing and developing entrepreneur and entrepreneuronomics.
  • A Centre of Excellence to foster Entrepreneurship Development in the Arab region.
  • An originator of a variety of Investment & Technology Promotion (ITP) and Entrepreneurship Development (ED) activities.
  • A repository of knowledge and information on industrial investment opportunities, technologies and markets.
  • A forum for exchange of experiences and insights into entrepreneurship development.
  • A resource institution to support , nurture and institutionalize the ITP and ED activities in the region.

They have active association and linkages in Kuwait, Saudi, Jordan, Oman, Yemen and India. A very usedul section in the site if of those entrepreneurs who having passed through the ARCEIT system have succesfully stepped into the practical world. Lets see if any of them have an comments to share with us.


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The Knowledge Mine – Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition

The Knowledge Mine (Oman) brings to budding business brains and ventures the E & Y Big Business Idea Competition. If you are reading about this competition now you have like me missed the chance to enter it. The deadline for this years submissions was 2nd Sep 2006. What the winning teams will get is:
  • 12 months free rental of a unit in The Knowledge Mine. While rental of the unit will be provided free as part of the prize fund, the running costs associated with the unit (i.e. electricity, water; telecoms; etc.) will be covered by the winner.
  • Technical Assistance of 50% of costs of office, equipment and/or other eligible costs related to the set-up of the business subject to a maximum of RO4,000.
  • RO2,000 in-kind Internet and mobile services provided by Nawras.
  • Up to 6 days consultancy from TKM business advisors, who will formally assist with business planning, financial planning and marketing. A comprehensive business plan covering all aspects of the business will be developed.
  • Opportunity to avail of the wide range of other support provided by TKM




What attracted me the most was the confidentiality clause. Even in USA when ever I became involved in a Biz-Plan Competition we were always concerned about the confidentiality. The clause on TKM BBIC reads;
"The organizers, judges and mentors associated with the Big Business Idea Competition are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Both your Business Idea and Business Plan will be treated in the strictest confidence. It is the participant's responsibility to make the organization they are employed by or affiliated with aware of their participation in the Big Business Idea Competition."

So buckle up entrepreneurs and come forward with the assurance that you will be protected by Intellectual Property (IP) Laws.



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T.K.M - A Business Incubator


The Knowledge Mine (TKM) a project under the Knowledge Oasis Muscat (K.O.M) is a true startup business incubator. The first of its kind in the region. It seeks to be a platform for starups and early stage tech ventures. A quick look at the admission process shows that the screening process is merit structured with emphasis being put on a solid business plan, innovative ideas, strong management team and above all a vision backed with strong faith.

I think it is a commendable step and is the sort of organization I had been trying to screen for myself and fellow entrepreneurs. QSTP or YAL Dubai are good iniatives but don't quite extend the helping hand to startups as being done by TKM. Read on and be awakened to a new world of local business incubation.

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Tax in Dubai & UAE

To Tax or not to Tax is not the question. The question is to accept its existence and not claim accolades undeserved. So lets see what taxes exist in dubai:

  • Import Duty (ID) -- 5% on most items
  • Alcohol (ID) -- 50% tariff
  • Tobacco (ID) -- 100% tariff
  • Business Property Tax -- 15% of Annual Rent
  • Business Visa -- 7500.00 app/ 3 years
  • Trade Licence Renewal Has so many extras like :
    1. Gov. Cultural Fee -- 10.00
    2. Muncipality Market Fee -- 3500.00
    3. DM Empl Accomodation -- 2100.00
    4. DM Labour Acc Fee -- 600.00
    5. General Cleaning Fee -- 1000.00
    6. Com. Ser. Imp Fee -- 100.00
    7. Licence Print Fee -- 50.00
    (These are typical for an SME with 7-10 workers)
  • Foreign banks -- 20% on their profits
  • Hotels, Cafes etc -- 10%
  • Residentail Tax -- 5% of Annual House Rent
  • Resident Visa Fees -- 2000.00 app/3 years
  • Cars Passing -- A yearly Tax (passing is only 50dhs)

So enlighten us all if you have anyother category of tax or if you think one of the above isn't one.


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Middle East Partnership Initiative

President George W. Bush's Middle East Partnership Initiative, has devoted more than $293 million in four years to reform efforts. It focuses on spread of democracy, education, economic growth, and women empowernment.

The MEPI's economic pillar is focused on region-wide economic and employment growth driven by private sector expansion and entrepreneurship. Within the economic pillar, MEPI is concentrating on the following goal areas:
  • Investment: Encourage mobilization of foreign direct and domestic investment and facilitate revenue and employment growth of micro-enterprises and SMEs.
  • Entrepreneurship: Advancing private sector job creation.
  • Trade/Transparency: Enhance MEPI partner countries' global competitiveness.

You can see the success stories to gain inspiration.

Another good avenue to explore for young entrepreneurs. MEPI has not been closed and it is still functioning. Not only does its high profile backing makes it unique but also steps like MEPI Alumni Network ensure sustainability.


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Economic Rankings

Came across World Bank's ranking on 'Ease of Doing Business' and as I had apprehended the GCC countries ranked far out of the Top positions. The GCC-SA countries rank as follow:


  1. Saudi Arabia -- 38
  2. Kuwait -- 46
  3. Oman -- 55
  4. Pakistan -- 74
  5. U.A.E -- 77
  6. India -- 134

So lets see, if Dubai the heart beat of UAE's economy is 77th on ease of doing business then how is it a economic heaven or an entrepreneurial magnet. The Rankings by World Bank are very comprehensive and formulate ranks based on a diversified set of characteristics which are:

  • Starting a business
  • Dealing with licenses
  • Employing workers
  • Registering property
  • Getting credit
  • Protecting investors
  • Paying taxes
  • Trading across borders
  • Enforcing contracts
  • Closing a business

I found this a very educative ranking list with a lot of useful resources and explanations. So let us be educated and share our experiences to make the best choice for our businesses and our future.


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GCC expanding out

GCC firms in the first eight months of the year have done acquisitions worth $29.5 billion in the UK, Europe and North America. A very good sign of global expansion and a smart way of initiating technology transfer and gaining access to grounds for better R&D.

I think acquisitions and mergers are a better use of accrued wealth in comparison to depositing money in bank or investment funds. It is a more educated investment path which gives the investor more right and opportunities. A very positive imapct for young entrepreneurs of this region is that they will get to participate in free and fair competition and hinge onto the growth whose blood lines are being held by financial gurus from their own lands.

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