JEDDAH: As many as 17,000 entrepreneurs from across the Middle East and North Africa region completed an online course entitled “Entrepreneurship Adventures,” which was organized by a Saudi university.
The 10-week masterclass, run by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, was a breakthrough in online learning and the first entrepreneurship course conducted in Arabic and hosted on the global education platform edX.org.
The online course teaches the fundamentals of entrepreneurship with input from the university’s Entrepreneurship Center. Still available for free in Arabic and open to anyone interested, the virtual course takes students through the startup lifecycle, where they can navigate real-world scenarios entrepreneurs face when starting a business.
Because the course was so successful, a second version is now planned for January 2022.
“KAUST’s Entrepreneurship Adventures course achieved its goal within two weeks of its launch,” Hattan Ahmed, head of KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, said.
“Most importantly, the level of satisfaction among participants was very impressive. A majority of participants reported that their experience significantly changed their understanding of entrepreneurship, enhanced their confidence in their abilities, and inspired them to develop their scientific abilities in this field.”
A survey revealed that 74 percent of participants said the course program gave them the confidence to work on a team and establish startups while 60 percent said they wanted to continue working in entrepreneurship in the future.
At the end of the course, 136 ideas for startup companies and projects were presented, including smart parking solutions, agriculture, behavioral treatments, and smart queues.
The success of the course is a continuation of KAUST’s vision to support entrepreneurs and drive economic impact through talent development, the launching of new products and services, and job creation.
The university has a long track record of training innovators and spinning out successful startups. In the past decade, KAUST has trained tens of thousands of innovators and supported more than 300 startups.