Young Saudis vie with peers for excellence in entrepreneurship

Updated 11 November 2012

Young Saudis vie with peers for excellence in entrepreneurship

JEDDAH: Injaz held the sixth annual Injaz Al-Arab Young Entrepreneurs Competition on Tuesday in Doha. Eighteen Saudi students competed with students from all over the Arab world.
Injaz Al-Arab is a nonprofit organization and one of the top 100 NGOs in the world. It believes in the limitless potential of youth in the Arab world and their ability to create viable economic opportunities. Injaz brings the private and public sectors together to provide hands-on learning in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship skills.
Injaz Al-Arab currently operates in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The Injaz Al-Arab Young Entrepreneurs Competition is the culmination of six months of inspirational work, dedication and passion in which corporate mentors work hand-in-hand with tomorrow’s young Arab leaders. It was launched in 2007 and it’s an annual celebration of the achievement of hardworking students who participated and won Company Program Competition at the national level.
After winning the top accolade in their home country, students become eligible for the main event: The Injaz Al-Arab Young Entrepreneurs Competition. This gives the chance of a lifetime to vie for the highly coveted “Company of Year” award with the top young entrepreneurial minds from around the MENA region. There they present their innovative ideas to a panel of highly respected judges, comprising top Middle Eastern entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Judges choose the winning team based on evidence of innovation and the successful exploitation of new ideas in all aspects of the running of the company.
In order for students to be eligible for the main event, they have to demonstrate sound business acumen, financial knowledge, marketing support and feasibility studies during four stages: a written report, the trade fair, the public presentation and the panel interview.
"Without Limits" is a Saudi invention of a safe case that is designed in an elegant way that serves people who are looking for privacy with a built-in gadget that makes the bag open only with a fingerprint.
This project is the brainchild of 18 university students from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. They were the winners of the Saudi Injaz Youth Competition of 2012. “The safe case is a smart bag that only opens with personal fingerprint. It can hold up to 16 fingerprints for each bag,” said Maram Mohammed, the marketing manager of the students. “What makes our invitation special is that it’s the prefect blend between style and security. It was designed especially for businesswomen looking for one case to hold all their essential needs,” she added.
The case has built-in space for the iPad, six cardholders, passport holder, wallet and a place for important papers. “We chose the iPad because after studying the Saudi market, we found out the iPad has made significant sales this year. We also wanted to make place for cards, money and papers because we wanted businesswomen to secure all their important things in one place instead of having different bags,” said Maram. “This product is made of 100% Saudi leather, in addition to the pure silk threads to the fingerprint gadget which are all made in Saudi Arabia and produced in a Saudi factory here in Jeddah,” she added.
Their main focus for our first line was businesswomen but their next lines will include men with different shapes, colors and gadget holders. “We customize orders according to clients. We can change anything they want,” said Maram. “We are looking to release our next collection soon and we are hoping it will get the attention and the sales the first collection got,” she added.
The safe case costs SR 1,000 and the students already sold 11 cases with different colors. “We arranged to have a booth in Red Sea Mall after studying the number of people who visit the place and it was held at the beginning of the summer when we noticed that a huge number of shoppers visited the mall,” said Maram. “We have sold different colors such as black, brown, blue and gray. We made sure the case looked formal and classic to match all styles,” she added.
For the Entrepreneurship for Arab School 2012, there were two winners for the first time in Injaz Al-Arab history where Yemeni students won with their “Creative Generation” invention that uses innovative ideas to tackle solar energy technology while providing a broader service to ensure lower prices so that every house in the Republic of Yemen can have access to safe, healthy and environmentally friendly energy.
The other group which won this year was from Algeria with its “AlGreenIA” project that aims to drive the role of green development in Algeria by becoming the eco-partner of the future.

Saudi women at the wheel: the first 24 hours

Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena getting ready to driver her car as Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women driving iib Saturday midnight. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 24 June 2018

Saudi women at the wheel: the first 24 hours

  • The General Security has already reported that it will be providing the required provisions for female drivers in Saudi Arabia.
  • Private insurance company Najm, in partnership with the General Department of Traffic, has hired 40 women and trained them to respond to road accidents involving female drivers.

JEDDAH:  Women around the Kingdom have turned the ignition in their cars for the first time on their home soil and hit the roads throughout the country. They have gone on social media to express their joy at this monumental occasion which has officially changed the course of their lives. 

Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena was among the very first women to drive in the Kingdom as soon as the clock struck midnight. 

Women in their cars enthusiastically and wholeheartedly cheered on their fellow female drivers on this memorable night. 

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated, said Almaeena.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urges all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.”

Almaeena highlighted the significance of being a defensive driver. “I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”

On how society is adapting to this major change, Almaeena said: “Tomorrow is the first day, mentally and psychologically it already had that shift. As I mentioned, it’s a paradigm shift. In perception and how they view women, their capabilities — as equal partners. 

“Mentally it’s already there, and physically we will see — as we start — more and more encouragement for both men and women. Even some of the women who weren’t feeling comfortable about driving, it’s going to be encouraging for them, in a live demonstration and evidence that women can do it.” 

As roads around Saudi Arabia have been inhabited by a new breed of drivers, how has this affected the traffic flow in Saudi Arabia?

 “As of 12 a.m., the implementation of the Supreme Court order to enable women to drive and the implementation of traffic regulations to both men and women is officially in effect," said Col. Sami Al-Shwairkh, the official spokesman for General Security in the Kingdom. "The security and traffic status on all roads and areas around the Kingdom have been reported as normal. There have not been any records from our monitoring of any unusual occurrences on the road throughout the Kingdom.” 

To commemorate this occasion, as seen in the pictures circulating on social media, traffic policemen were handing roses to female drivers early on Sunday.

The General Security has already reported that it will be providing the required provisions for female drivers in Saudi Arabia.

Private insurance company Najm, in partnership with the General Department of Traffic, has hired 40 women and trained them to respond to road accidents involving female drivers.

The General Directorate of Traffic has completed all preparations to employ women on the country’s traffic police force.