ArabNET Digital Summit 2014 today opened with a keynote address by the CEO of twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi. The speech spotlighted the creation of a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem.
“Despite good progress SMEs still face significant challenges in our region” – Noura Al Kaabi, Chief Executive Officer at twofour54
Noura Al Kaabi, Chief Executive Officer at twofour54, identified the current issues facing young Arab entrepreneurs in the region and highlighted the key gaps that need to be addressed to allow an entrepreneurship ecosystem to grow and flourish.
Al Kaabi stated that 94 percent of the 300,000 enterprises in the UAE are SMEs and these companies employ 90 percent of the nation’s workforce as well contributing 40 per cent towards GDP, which enhances the development of the UAE. However, unemployment is currently at a significant high and is considered as a major stumbling block to regional development.
Speaking at the event, Al Kaabi said: “SMEs are key drivers of economic and social progress and sources of innovation, productivity growth and employment. Reinforcing and empowering the Arab youth to fulfil their creative potential is vital to building and sustaining our media and entertainment industries.”
Al Kaabi added that the establishment of a proper entrepreneurial environment is key to the success and growth of any economy adding that entrepreneurship flourishes when there are success stories, culture, education, training, government support, access to funding, suitable salary and taxation levels and support systems.
Taking place on June 3-5 at Atlantis the Palm, Dubai is hosting the region’s largest gathering of leaders in digital business and entrepreneurship for the second year in a row. Held in Strategic Partnership with Digital Media Services (DMS), the conference is set to attract more than 1,000 digital business professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, and media from all over the world.
The summit features more than a hundred international and regional expert speakers discussing the latest developments in digital business. It includes 50 panel discussions, talks, and workshops covering the trends and opportunities in the sector, including 3D printing, wearable technology, e-commerce and payments, branded content as well as digital marketing.
twofour54’s partnership with specialised startup accelerator, Flat6Labs provides a platform to develop talent in the UAE and across the Middle East by fostering and investing in bright and passionate entrepreneurs. The accelerator provides seed funding, strategic mentorship, a creative workspace, a multitude of perks, entrepreneurship-focused business training, and direct support for start-ups through an expansive network of partners and entrepreneurial activities.
Al Kaabi added: “At twofour54 we are contributing to the growth in opportunities for young people by supporting our brightest young entrepreneurs and start-ups who share our vision for a vibrant media and creative industry. As the region’s driving force behind media and entertainment entrepreneurs in Abu Dhabi, our main objective is to foster Arab-focused media and digital businesses in the UAE and part of accomplishing that goal is supporting youth in starting their own businesses.”
twofour54 is building a media and entertainment hub in the Middle East by promoting talent development and content creation by Arabs across all media platforms, including film, broadcast, music, digital media, events, gaming, and publishing.