Publication Date: 
Thu, 2012-01-26 00:12

"The new initiative will create an e-government portal integrating different government and non-governmental services in the Kingdom," Fahd Al-Hamaidaddin, chief of marketing and competitiveness initiatives at SAGIA, told the delegates at the concluding session of the forum.
The primary objective of the initiative is to make it easy for Saudi men and women entrepreneurs to start and develop their businesses, he added.
Hamaidaddin said there will be six entities in the proposed Entrepreneurship Village which would include government and non-governmental organizations such as the ministries of labor, commerce and industry and economy and planning and non-governmental bodies such as King Abdulaziz College For Science and Technology (KACST) and the Centennial Fund.
"The services offered by these organizations will be integrated under the new program to offer the best services to Saudi entrepreneurs," the official said, pointing out that at present these services are fragmented.
The SAGIA will also harness the experience gained from its Foreign Investors One-Stop Shop for the successful implementation of the proposed village.
Babson College President Len Schlesinger and his team will be the academic partners to this new venture, he said.
He also announced that SAGIA Gov. Amr Al-Dabbagh had retired from the service on completion of his tenure of office.
The official said the Supreme Economic Commission is expected to nominate a new governor for the organization.
He also thanked Al-Dabbagh for the wonderful services rendered him during his tenure.
Prince Saud bin Khalid Al-Faisal, deputy governor for Investment Affairs at the SAGIA, honored the winners of the "Most Competitive Youth" initiative, sponsored by Microsoft (Technology), Cisco (Innovation) and Edge of Arabia (Creativity).
The forum earlier heard calls for Saudi Arabia to develop a more coherent policy to "jump start" entrepreneurship throughout the Kingdom.
In the final day's opening keynote speech, "Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness: The implications for Saudi Arabia", Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University, Professor, Harvard Business School, said the Kingdom must do more to encourage entrepreneurship and competitiveness.
Porter said: "How do we jump start entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia? My perception is that you understand it is important, but the country hasn't got a coherent strategy to do this."
He said it was not possible to start entrepreneurship until there was competitiveness, but Saudi Arabia had already reached that point.
"We need education and support for entrepreneurs to build their businesses. We need policies that make it easier to start business. You need funding and capital. You need more incentives."
In the day's first panel session "Intrapreneurship: How Conglomerates Do It", Andrew White, associate dean for Executive Education from Said Business School, University of Oxford, stressed the importance of leaders, who can ensure commercial success of an organization by subjugating their own ego to something greater - the entrepreneurial spirit of people who work inside the organization.
Chris Hyman, Group CEO, SERCO, said real entrepreneurs do not sit easily in bigger boardrooms.
"Why are large companies fearful of them? They feel that they don't do well in a hierarchy; they are huge risk takers and loners who don't usually build teams. They are mavericks who fly solo."
He added: "What has prevented us from being entrepreneurial is simply that it isn't easy. Large companies need entrepreneurial attitude or they will die. We love entrepreneurs - their drive, determination and single-minded vision and the sheer brilliance of their ideas."
The other panelists were Ki-Joon Hong, vice-chairman and CEO, Hanwha Chemical Corporation, Omar Christidis, founder and CEO, ArabNet, and Michael Lindenmayer, co-creator and managing partner of Eirëne.
Shahid Ansari, provost, Babson College, chaired the session.
Concern for the future of the planet was the focus of the second morning panel session.
Chad Evans, senior vice president, US Council on Competitiveness, moderated this session titled -"Greenovation: Good for business too!"
Joseph Adelegan, president, Green Globe Trust and founder, said "green" thinking was imperative.
"If our planet has no future then our business has no future. It can no longer be business as usual... We must combine profit, people and the planet."
Michael Czysz, CEO, Motoczysz, stressed that greenovation was critical to the world's future.
"We need to innovate our innovations. Innovation plus sustainability equals greenovation. I want ideas for my generation and my kids' generation. There is a strong business case behind greenovation. It is something that we must do."

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