Student entrepreneurship firmly on the agenda as GEMS World Academy hosts high-profile panel event

8 June 2021

  • Event focuses on the need to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set among youth
  • Speakers share their insights with students from Dubai’s top IB through-school
  • World Academy is GEMS Education’s Centre of Excellence for Entrepreneurship

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Leading UAE entrepreneurs today gave pupils at GEMS World Academy – Dubai expert advice on the need to integrate entrepreneurship in schools and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set from a young age.

Speakers at the panel event, which took place at World Academy’s dedicated entrepreneurship space, included Nour Al Hassan, Founder and CEO of Tarjama and Ureed; Alessandro Nocivelli, a Member of the Board of Directors at Epta and a GEMS World Academy parent; Fouad Dajani, Co-Founder of healthy food and beverage brand Nai; and Dr Saima Rana, Principal/CEO of GEMS World Academy – Dubai, Chief Education Ambassador for The Varkey Foundation, and Founding Trustee of The Shahnaz Foundation.

The panel discussed how education has changed over the course of the last decade, how it will continue to evolve, and what impact artificial intelligence and technology will have on the youth of today. Speakers were also asked what skills they believe most helped them in their entrepreneurial journeys, what challenges they had to overcome, and what skills they wish they could have developed while at school. Another hot topic was whether or not entrepreneurship is something that can actually be taught.

Dr Saima Rana, Principal/CEO, GEMS World Academy – Dubai, said: “Entrepreneurship embodies what a modern and progressive education is all about: creativity, courage, inventiveness, intelligence, an ability to synthesise knowledge into something new , a love of  thinking outside the box, of seeing opportunities where others see just problems, and a blending of self-confidence and team building into a positive spirit that accepts change and harnesses the best in people to make the world a better place. This is what our entrepreneurship programme at GEMS World Academy is about.”

Nour Al Hassan, Founder and CEO of Tarjama and Ureed, said: “Although AI and automation are increasingly important, they support businesses but do not replace human skills, which are essential for children to learn and hone at a young age. Skills like resilience, managing challenges and a creative mind-set are all essential for the future of work, no matter the career path.”

Fouad Dajani, Co-Founder of Nai, said: “As an entrepreneur, it is important to build a strong team and have a group of people that can support you throughout the journey – family, partners, mentors. Team work and collaboration is a key skill that is important for students to learn from a young age and helps set the foundation for the future.”

Entrepreneurship is a common thread throughout GEMS World Academy thanks to the school’s status as GEMS Education’s Centre of Excellence for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Impact. The Centre was launched in response to today’s ever-changing world and in recognition of education’s vital role in preparing students for life after school.

Given that 65% of the jobs students will engage in do not yet exist today, students are in future far more likely to have to create their own employment. The Centre of Excellence therefore aims to prepare students to be agile and adaptable in the face of profound change.