G20 Young Entrepreneur’s Alliance Summit discusses role of entrepreneurs in time of crisis

Nasser: Our theme for this year is entrepreneurship as a source of innovation and resilience as we reflect on the challenges facing the world. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 30 October 2020

G20 Young Entrepreneur’s Alliance Summit discusses role of entrepreneurs in time of crisis

  • Adopting an ‘entrepreneurial mindset is becoming more vital than ever’

JEDDAH: Thursday’s G20 Young Entrepreneur’s Alliance (YEA) Summit focused heavily on the way in which numerous small businesses and entrepreneurs have successfully pivoted to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and shown that they can be valuable partners in keeping economies afloat.
The virtual event, which continues Friday, brought together thousands of business leaders and talented young entrepreneurs from across the world.
G20 YEA Saudi chair, Prince Fahad bin Mansour bin Nasser, told the audience, ”Our theme for this year is entrepreneurship as a source of innovation and resilience as we reflect on the challenges facing the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is clear that adopting an entrepreneurial mindset is becoming more vital than ever.”
He added: “Here in Saudi Arabia, we are blessed with outstanding infrastructure and the government’s support to help entrepreneurs bring their idea to life.”
According to a recent report commissioned by Monsha’at, 50 percent of working-age Saudi women and 30 percent of men are launching or running businesses that are less than 42 months old.
“As significant contributors to employment, these emerging SMEs are set to drive economic growth in the Kingdom,” Prince Fahad said. “Around 75 percent of these businesses reported having six or more employees. Saudi Arabia’s commitment to assisting SMEs has been enshrined as part of Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s ambitious roadmap.”
He pointed out that Saudi Arabia aims to increase the contribution of SMEs to the national GDP from 20 to 35 percent over the coming decade.
“Saudi Arabia is enabling 100 Saudi companies to compete on the regional and global levels as a means to stimulate the entrepreneurship landscape and provide new opportunities for the sector,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

The YEA is a group of organizations from across the jurisdiction of the G20 that promote youth entrepreneurship as a driver of economic renewal, job creation, innovation and social change.

The director of the innovation and entrepreneurship sector at the Ministry of Investment, Dr. Mazin Al-Zaidi, said that the most important thing for entrepreneurs is the number, and potential value of, opportunities.
“I believe we in Saudi Arabia have the largest opportunity for any entrepreneur. It is very easy to set up an opportunity in Saudi Arabia. Any foreign entrepreneur can obtain a license in less than three hours, with a 100 percent ownership, for only $500,” Al-Zaidi said.
For his part, Armen Ovanessof, principal director at Accenture Research, shed light on what the future might hold and what other uncertainties may lie ahead, stressing that the world will need “vision, agility and collaborative spirit” to build a better future.
Saudi Venture Capital Company CEO Dr. Nabil Koshak said: “Vision 2030 has highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship in economic and social transformation. We have seen innovative products and service solutions. The government and the local authorities have been working on updating and changing the regulatory environment to be more friendly to entrepreneurs, startups and investors.”
The vice governor of entrepreneurship advancement at the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monsha’at), Esam Al-Thukair, explained why he believes that fostering entrepreneurship is important.
“It is important for two main reasons: It is the most job generating industry and it has become a more significant GDP contributor than ever,” he said.


Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

Nutrition is the most important part when it comes to bodybuilding, then comes type of exercise, and good rest. (AFP)
Updated 47 min 16 sec ago

Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

  • Ali Al-Salam, who stopped consuming animal products in 2017, says certain steps must be completed to have an athletic body

JEDDAH: The vegan diet has risen in popularity in Saudi Arabia in recent years and has been a constant topic of debate among Saudis, attracting the interest of many, including athletes.

Ongoing debates about whether the vegan diet is sufficient for normal people, let alone bodybuilders, abound, but one Saudi is answering them physically.
Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.
Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease, but other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.
Speaking to Arab News, 33-year-old Saudi vegan bodybuilder, Ali Al-Salam, who first started his vegan diet three years ago when he was suffering from high blood pressure, highlighted that the consumption of animal products is a deep rooted idea among bodybuilders and athletes.
“We always hear that in order to build muscle, we must consume animal products. In some parts of the world, there are people who can only have a small amount of animal products yet they live their lives healthily and comfortably and are not suffering from malnutrition — on the contrary, they have a lower level of chronic illnesses.”

When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.

Ali Al-Salam, Saudi vegan bodybuilder

He said it also opened his eyes to what goes on in the dairy and meat industry; he began researching in 2016 and decided to become vegan in 2017.
“I was just like every other athlete, I used to consume a high amounts of protein. I remember in the last days before turning vegan, I used to have 10 egg whites and a piece of steak for breakfast to fulfil my protein needs. This made me think, ‘is this the only way to consume protein?’ And from then on, I started researching and got introduced to the vegan diet at a larger scale,” he said.
“When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.”
He explained that bodybuilding does not solely rely on protein, and that there are steps that must be completed in order to reach an athletic body. Nutrition is the most important part, then comes type of exercise, and good rest.
“When we talk about good nutrition, it does not just rely on protein. Yes, it is important, but the amount of calories in general is more important,” he said.
“Let’s say you needed 200 grams of protein, does that mean if you consumed 200 grams of it, you would gain muscle? No. You need all the basic nutrients to reach a certain amount of calories in general,” he added.
He highlighted that as soon as people register for gym memberships, they immediately look for supplements because they think they cannot reach the needed amount of protein.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.

• Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease.

• But other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.

• Vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants.

• Animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.

“I’m talking about non-vegans here too, where their protein intake is already high. Marketing plays a big role here. People link protein to animal products because our society grew up with this idea as well.
“Can a vegan build muscle? Yes, when they eat right, exercise correctly and rest well. The misconception about protein stems from amino acids. People think vegan food lacks amino acids, and only animal products are full of them and that is far from the truth,” he added.
When comparing vegan athletes to regular athletes, he said vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants which helps greatly in recovery, and because “animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.”