20 startups join elite Saudi business boost program

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Updated 14 October 2019

20 startups join elite Saudi business boost program

  • Misk 500 supports startups in cooperation with Silicon Valley’s best business accelerator, 500 Startups

RIYADH: Twenty young entrepreneurs have joined an elite Saudi enterprise program aimed at boosting their business startups.

The innovators selected from throughout the Kingdom and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will take part in the three-month Misk 500 Accelerator Program.

The training project, organized by the Initiatives Center of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk) represented by Misk Innovation, was launched on Sept. 10, in Riyadh.

Hundreds of entrepreneurs applied to participate in the special training scheme designed to develop their ideas and help make their companies business success stories.

The selection process took place last July and the latest group will become the second wave of trainees after 19 startups joined the accelerator last May.

It includes a program supervised by one of the largest global corporations supporting entrepreneurship and startups through training sessions and workshops in fields including communications, sales, client meetings, data analysis, recruitment, financing, and products and system building.

Each successful applicant for the program will receive SR187,000 ($50,000).

During the training period, the program supports creative ideas to help improve job opportunities and give promising young talent the chance to integrate into local and global business networks.

Misk Innovation works to improve professional and skills training for youth, empowering them to acquire the necessary competences for the future and obtain top-quality international training in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The ultimate aim is to help them launch business ventures that contribute to the development of their societies, countries and the world.

Misk 500 supports startups in cooperation with Silicon Valley’s best business accelerator, 500 Startups.


Saudi Arabia to export electricity under ‘noble’ energy plan

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, 2nd left, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, CEO of Mubadala, 2nd right, Total’s Patrick Pouyanne, and moderator Bassem Awadallah, left, at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh. (AN photo/Ziyad Al-Arfaj)
Updated 13 November 2019

Saudi Arabia to export electricity under ‘noble’ energy plan

  • ‘We are moving ahead with our civil nuclear program’, says energy minister

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman has reaffirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to diversifying its energy sources, telling the Misk Global Forum 2019 that an expanding renewable energy program will meet the country’s domestic requirements and even allow it to export electricity.
“We are moving ahead with our civil nuclear program,” the minister told the forum’s opening session.
He said the Kingdom’s renewable energy program “will get us into manufacturing and exporting electricity.”
Prince Abdul Aziz added: “We have a new program, a ‘noble’ program, to create a new way of using oil and gas that is different from the conventional ways.”
He told the forum that renewable energy will create jobs for thousands of Saudis and non-Saudis, saying that jobs for both are equally valuable.
“Non-Saudis are important. I was educated by non-Saudis. We should recognize that and not let our nationalism defeat us, and not be ungrateful to them,” he said.
The energy minister said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is providing all Saudis with equal opportunities.
“We know that our women now are enabled, they have an education program,” he said. “We have equal pay for both men and women.”
Prince Abdul Aziz said that social reforms in the Kingdom have turned Riyadh into a “city of joy,” where families had access to a range of entertainment options.
He urged forum participants to learn from their mistakes and never from success. “I am an embodiment of mistakes,” said the prince.
“Even princes have dreams, because they have fathers and grandfathers who had big dreams and we could never let them down,” he said.
“Education, training and resilience are important to keep up and never be broken,” he said, adding: “If I hadn’t had that self-motivation, the notion that you don’t give up, I wouldn’t be here today.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Renewable energy will create jobs for thousands of Saudis and non-Saudis.

• ‘Noble’ program will create a new way of using oil and gas that is different from the conventional ways.

• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ‘is providing all Saudis with equal opportunities.’

“I am humble enough, serious enough and Saudi enough to say that,” he said. A panelist at the forum, Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of Total, urged the younger generation not to be afraid of technology, saying that Artificial Intelligence will not take over their jobs.
“There is a beautiful challenge for making it compatible,” he said.
Fellow panelist Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, CEO of the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Co., told the audience that they represented the future.
“Our job as leaders today is to make sure that we provide you with the right opportunities, enabling the youth to succeed,” he said.
“Don’t fight technology, embrace it,” said Al-Mubarak.
In her welcome speech, Shaima Hamidaddin, Misk Global Forum’s executive manager, said that 7,000 participants had registered for the event, making it the largest ever, as well as the most diverse edition with more than 120 countries taking part.
“In every edition of the forum, we look at how to prepare for the future,” she said. “This year we are focusing on work. Everybody is touched by work in some way and that’s why we must rework our work.”