Arab Woman Platform representative in Saudi Arabia, Mrs. Maha Saleh met with business woman Sarah Al Ayed President of the Entrepreneurship Competition to talk about the results of the competition and upcoming events to support the winning projects.
First we congratulate you on the success of the second season of the Entrepreneurship Competition in Jeddah, did you expect the project that took first place to be the winner?
In fact, I expected it to get either the first or second place from the uniqueness of its idea and the market demand for such a project. Also the presentation style was very good.
Talking about the presentation style in the competition, there are projects that had great ideas and did not get advanced for this reason, does the presentation style play a role in this?
There is no doubt that the person’s ability to communicate information to the jury is very important, it is necessary to be proficient in their answers and give solutions to problems that Committee members may put forward, yes presence and ability to explain ideas are part of the evaluation mechanisms, and that is why we gave many opportunities for the participants to deliver their ideas.
Does this have a direct relationship in regards to the participant’s personality?
There are fundamentals that schools and universities have to implement and support, unfortunately there are those who graduate from school or university who do not have the necessary knowledge to develop an action plan, or vision, that is why our work required us to go back to the basics, giving applicants the necessary training for this.
Did the winners receive their financial rewards to start their businesses?
Yes winners were handed over the first batch, a quarter of the amount, which is agreed upon at this stage and we are going to meet with them and guide them in relation to the laws and registration of projects, and we will continue to provide counseling for a year and a half and even after that.
How the winners today can be motivators for other participants for the coming seasons?
This is exactly what happens, the winner from the first season Ola Rajab is a member of the Young Women in Business Chamber of Commerce and directs the others and guides them, and the guidance is not limited to the winners only, but includes all those who participated in the competition.
This is what we are currently doing with the support of sponsors, such as Dallah Albaraka with its mission to convert members of the community to contributing and productive to help in strengthening the national economy.
Where it guides entrepreneurs that did not have a chance to win in order to empower them and provide them with the necessary training.
This is our goal with our partners, we can help bring out the talents and energies of the youth and contribute to the development of creativity and business.
What’s new for next season?
Currently we are making contact with foreign agencies in the field of entrepreneurship to add to the competition and would like to partner with us, as there are intentions to take the competition out of the kingdom’s borders to include Arab states, we are ready to provide our brothers in the Arab countries of the outcome of our experience in this area.
At the domestic level, we are making contacts for the advancement of education and urging schools to work towards the development students for their full potential to keep pace with the era of leadership.
Where do you find the Saudi women’s place in reference to Arab business worldwide?
Arab women and Saudi women are strongly present in entrepreneurship, what is needed now is to exploit the opportunities available now on a larger scale, and here comes the role of the media to highlight on untapped or well-known talents and research outside the scope of the ordinary.
As well it is duty of every lady who became distinguished in the field of entrepreneurship to disclose her achievements and talk about them fluently without shying away to be an inspiration for every woman who dreams of leadership and excellence.
Here I thank the Arab Woman Platform on the precision and swiftness of their coverage on the competition to inform Arab readers.