JEDDAH: Saudi entrepreneurs were urged to “think global, stay local” during a conference address at Dar Al-Hekmah University.
Prof. William Kerr, who chairs Harvard University’s Launching New Ventures program, told an international research forum that risk-taking was an important quality for entrepreneurs.
“Don’t try to pick a winner,” he said. “Reduce the cost for the global network and for entry in Saudi Arabia, and build greater rewards and better competition.”
Kerr works with companies around the world on the development of new ventures and transformations to ensure profitable growth.
Later, he told Arab News: “Saudi Arabia appears to be at a wonderful turning point where bringing entrepreneurship and enabling its growth will make a more vibrant society and also improve the local economy.
“Entrepreneurship doesn’t operate by itself, so the question is what do you give to the entrepreneurs? If you give them access to the market and reduce the cost of entering a business or competing with big companies, then we can expect lots of economic growth.
“One should learn from examples and others’ experience. Female entrepreneurs, in particular, should look for female role models.
“It can be a lonely business for any entrepreneur, so look for mentors’ support and work hard.”
Shatha Abu Al-Faraj, of Dar Al-Hekma University, addressed a class at the conference on “digital design process and digital fabrication techniques for teaching product design.”
“Digital fabrication is a new field in Saudi Arabia now that we live in a fast-paced era. Everyone should be able keep up with the technology,” she told Arab News.
“I am not only teaching big things, I want to teach a stay-at-home woman how to design things as simple as jewelry. By graphic designing, you can design your own jewelry and wear exactly what you desire. Of course, interior design and furniture design will also be easy.”
Visiting scholars were taken on a tour of Dukkan Dar Al-Hekma, a shop stocked with high-quality products made by university students.