Saudi girls’ school launches pioneering project to produce business entrepreneurs of future

Front view of the Dar Al-Fikr Schools in Jeddah, as shown in the school's website. (Courtesy:
Updated 02 November 2019

Saudi girls’ school launches pioneering project to produce business entrepreneurs of future

JEDDAH: Students at a top Saudi school for girls are being given the chance to become the Kingdom’s entrepreneurs of the future by running their own business venture.

Dar Al-Fikr School, in Jeddah, has launched an innovative educational and community initiative aimed at arming students with the vital skills required to succeed in the workplace environment.

The Dar Al-Fikr Intrapreneur Program (DIP) will see an area of the school set aside for the “20 Formation” event management company, which will be managed and staffed by students.

Majdah Afandi, director of Dar Al-Fikr Schools and DIP founder, told Arab News: “I believe that grade 12 students should be exposed to the practical part of the world before they reach college level, but it is often hard to take them outside of school to do that.

“Therefore, we decided to build our own space and cover all the knowledge and skills needed in any employee by offering students the full experience of soft skills in a three-courses program.

“No matter how much knowledge lectures are delivering to students, if soft skills are not practiced and experienced by them it will never occur through theoretical teaching. So, we will apply all the skills that the country is calling for during this era of growth,” she added.

DIP project manager, Lujain Al-Sarahi, said the school had an annual graduation project for grade 12 students but wanted to make this year more challenging.

“DIP offers internal training that will enable students to open a company within the school, the core business of it being event management. It will include all the departments necessary to serve the company,” added Al-Sarahi.

The initiative is believed to be the first pre-college graduation program of its kind to be set up in the Kingdom and will involve students in theoretical and practical course work along with action research, to give them the independent know-how and leadership skills to run a modern business.

The program will culminate with the young intrapreneurs making a presentation about their business project to a school conference attended by outside industry experts who will assess their work.

Scheme organizers have established a training company with its own capital funds and 44 students have been enrolled in the program as interns for two days a week, holding positions in the enterprise and planning actual events.

In order to join the company, students had to go through a professional recruitment process involving them attending workshops, an internal job fair, and creating CVs and portfolios to fit their roles.

Laila Shaaban, 17, a student and 20 Formation company employee, hoped the initiative would help define her future career path.

“In this company, I am employed as a graphic designer. I will be exposed to many different fields of experience so I can focus on what I want to be and do after graduation, either in college or in business.

“The company will help us anywhere we go whether its part of a workforce, at home or university,” she added.



Mission of DIP: To deliver extraordinary events from inside and outside the school and to make a difference in the event planning sector in Jeddah.

The company will include human resources, finance and accounting departments and will have social media, public relations, and graphic design committees.

44 students are already enrolled in the company and will be working on action research during the year.

The main focuses of the program are communication, negotiation skills, time management, and creative thinking.

Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation. (SPA)
Updated 15 min 24 sec ago

Saudi Arabia could return to extreme precautionary restrictions, minister warns

  • People not wearing masks will be fined

JEDDAH: The Kingdom could return to extreme precautionary restrictions if the number of COVID-19 patients exceeds the medical sector’s capacity, Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah warned on Saturday.

“Public awareness and adherence to precautionary measures is essential to continue the ease of restrictions,” Al-Rabiah told Al-Arabiya on Saturday. “We continue monitoring the situation based on the number of critical cases in hospitals and their capacity to receive them. We want to be able to receive all cases that reach out to us and provide them with the care that they need. We are all in one boat in this situation, we are one team, and we must work together cautiously. Lack of commitment will definitely take us back to where we were.”

The minister expressed his concern about overcrowding in some public places during the Eid holidays, adding that while crowds were likely at the initial phase of the ‘unlock’ he remained optimistic about the public’s awareness level.

The minister said that although children were the least likely to be infected they could carry the virus without symptoms. He advised families to keep children away from elderly members of their families such as grandparents.

There were 1,618 new cases reported in Saudi Arabia, meaning that 83,384 people have now contracted the disease. There are currently 24,501 active cases.

The Health Ministry announced that 1,870 more patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 58,883. More than 70 percent of coronavirus patients in the Kingdom have recovered from the disease.

There were 22 new COVID-19-related deaths reported on Saturday, raising the total number of fatalities to 480.

The ministry has assigned 30 health practitioners to carry out the third stage of an expanded examination plan to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the city of Makkah.


• 58,883 recoveries

• 24,501 active cases

The examination will take place at a center in the Al-Zaidi district, where citizens and expats will be tested inside their cars through 12 tracks without the need to leave their vehicles. The center has the capacity for over 1,000 tests daily and these will be carried out through appointments made on the ministry’s Sehaty app.

Adjustments to previously announced social-distancing measures and regulations were announced by the Saudi Interior Ministry on Saturday. These include new violation penalties, as the second stage of restriction-easing starts on May 31.

Individuals who intentionally violate regulations will pay SR1,000 ($266). Breaches include not wearing a mask, not committing to social distancing marks and areas, refusing to undergo temperature checks at entrances, or not adhering to preventive protocols if their temperature is higher than 38 degrees Celsius.

The ministry amended the maximum number of people allowed for social gatherings inside homes, rest houses, farms, or in social events such as funerals and parties to 50 people.

Private sector establishments that are found to be non-compliant with new preventive measures and protocols will pay a penalty of SR10,000.

This penalty covers violations such as admitting entry to individuals not wearing medical or cloth masks, lack of disinfectants and sterilizers, not checking employee and customer temperatures at entrances, lack of sterilization on shopping facilities, cart surfaces and shopping baskets after each use, as well as opening fitting rooms and children’s play areas.
Penalties will be doubled upon repetition of the violation.