Lateefa AlWaalan named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’

Updated 07 May 2015
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Lateefa AlWaalan named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’

Lateefa AlWaalan, founder and CEO of Yatooq, has been named Saudi Arabia’s “EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) 2015” by an independent panel of judges at the EOY event.
The event was held under the patronage of Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, minister of commerce and Industry, the Strategic Partner of the event.
Lateefa was chosen from a group of 11 finalists from 10 companies, each a dynamic and gifted business leader. The award was presented yesterday evening at a gala dinner.
The event was sponsored by Eye of Riyadh,  Riyadh Bank and Endeavour Saudi.
Fahad Altoaimi, office managing partner, Riyadh and Entrepreneur of the Year leader, EY, says: “We congratulate Lateefa on being named Saudi Arabia’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015.”
He added: “Lateefa truly deserves this award which honors her business achievements, innovation and contribution to her community. Lateefa will join the Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners from over 50 countries at Monte Carlo in June 2015, where she will be inducted into the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Academy and will vie for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year award.”
The independent judging panel comprised: Abdallah Obeikan, CEO of Obeikan AGC Co. Ltd; Abdulaziz Al-Omran, co-founder, a member of the board of trustees and chair of the Riyadh Chapter of Oqal; Abdul Rahman Ibrahim Alrowaita, managing director and general manager — Aseer Company; Ali Al-Othaim, chairman of the National Committee of Young Businessmen Council of Saudi Chambers; Fahad A. AlKassim, chairman of Amwal Financial Consulting; Khlood Abdulaziz Aldukheil, founding partner and an executive transactor at MKD Financial and Business Advisory; Mohammad A. Abunayyan, chairman of the Board of ACWA Power International.
Lateefa was chosen by the independent panel of judges after an extensive process of evaluation.
The judging process was based on numerous criteria that included entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, social impact and influence.
The program celebrates the success of entrepreneurs who build and lead successful, growing and dynamic businesses.
 The event has been running for 28 years by EY in 145 cities across 60 countries.
The EOY awards recognize outstanding entrepreneurs for their vision, innovation, courage, and leadership in building and growing successful businesses — businesses that influence the way we live, the products and services we depend on, and the economic vibrancy of our local communities and global markets.


Infectious diseases are set to become as great a risk for global business as climate change

Updated 19 January 2019
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Infectious diseases are set to become as great a risk for global business as climate change

LONDON: The Global Risks Report 2019 jointly compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Harvard Global Heath Institute describes a world that is woefully ill-prepared to detect and respond to disease outbreaks.
In fact, the world is becoming more vulnerable to pandemics, despite advances in medicine and public health.
Global GDP will fall by an average of 0.7 percent or $570 billion because of pandemics — a threat that is “in the same order of magnitude” to the losses estimated to be caused by climate change in the coming decades.
“Outbreaks are a top global economic risk and — like the case for climate change — large companies can no longer afford to stay on the sidelines,” said Vanessa Candeias, who heads the committee on future health and health care at the WEF.
Potential catastrophic outbreaks of disease occur only every few decades but regional and local epidemics are becoming more common. There have been nearly 200 a year in recent times and outbreaks of diseases such as influenza, Ebola, zika, yellow fever, SARS, and MERS have become more frequent over the last 30 years.
At the same time antibiotics have become less effective against bacteria.
The impact of influenza pandemics is estimated at $60 billion, according to a report by the Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future — more than double previous estimates.
The trend is expected to get worse as populations increase and become more mobile due to travel, trade or displacement. Deforestation and climate change are also factors.
Businesses need to bone up on the risk of infectious diseases and how to manage them if the overall economy is to remain resilient.
Peter Sands, research fellow at the Harvard Global Health Institute and executive director of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said, “When business leaders are more aware of what’s at stake, maybe there will be a different dialogue about global health, from being a topic that rarely touches the radar screen of business leaders to being a subject worthy of attention, investment and advocacy.”
Predicting where and when the next outbreak will come is an evolving science but it is possible to identify certain factors that would leave companies vulnerable to financial losses, such as the nature of the business, geographical location of the workforce, the customer base and supply chain.
Disease is not the only threat. There is also fear uninformed panic. Past epidemics have shown that misinformation spreads as fast as the infection itself and can undermine and disrupt medical response.
The report advises planning for such emergencies by “trusted public-private partnerships” so that “businesses can help mitigate the potentially devastating human and economic impacts of epidemics while protecting the interests of their employees and commercial operations.”
It is estimated that the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2014-2016 cost $53 billion in lost commercial income and the 2015 MERS outbreak in South Korea cost $8.5 billion. According to the World Bank, disease accounts for only 30 percent of economic losses. The rest is largely down to healthy people changing their behavior as they seek to avoid becoming infected themselves.
The authors of the report will make recommendations next week at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.