June 8, 2017
The Ford Motor Company Fund is bringing the Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy (HFEA) to Saudi Arabia in March, with the announcement of a partnership with leading women’s institution Effat University in Jeddah.
The programme sees its Middle Eastern debut following a successful year in the Kingdom of Morocco, where close to 100 Moroccan entrepreneurs benefitted from acquiring the tools needed to drive their businesses further.
News of the programme’s expansion to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a vote of confidence in the region’s budding entrepreneurs, and a clear commitment by Ford to assist future business leaders in Saudi Arabia the opportunity to think and act like entrepreneurs through a hands-on, immersive three-day HFEA workshop from March 7-9, 2017.
More than 60 per cent* of all Saudi women have at least a graduate degree, but still most of them are unemployed, while around 63 per cent of Saudi women have unregistered, yet successful businesses, and rely on mobile phones and personal computers to do business.
These are the women the HFEA hopes to instill with a range of vital new skills, tools and the entrepreneurial mind-set needed to nurture creative ideas, assessing the feasibility of their plans, and to help the budding entrepreneurs launch and grow new ventures. “The expansion of the Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy to Saudi Arabia, and Effat University, is a sign of our commitment to the region, and highlights the important role women have to play in the future business landscape of the Kingdom,” said Simonetta Verdi, director, Government and Community Relations, Ford Middle East and Africa.
“A study of women entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia has shown that women are greatly contributing to the economic growth of the Kingdom*, to the extent the government has recently created programmes to encourage more female business owners to join the workforce. It’s women like these that will benefit most from the HFEA workshops, while they also highlight the importance of Ford’s expansion of the programme to include KSA.”
In his speech at the opening of Success Stories Forum for Women’s Work in 2016, Deputy of Labour and Social Development Minister Ahmed Al-Humaidan was keen to state the great emphasis the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 gives to Saudi women, and their role in both social and developmental areas. Ford, too, understands the significant contribution women have to give to the business world and aims to improve the skills of those female entrepreneurs through the HFEA workshops.
The Academy requires a great deal of hard work to be in a position to offer potentially life-altering workshops, and much of what Ford does in relation to the HFEA is a result of its partners like Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Business, where HFEA lead architect Jay Markiewicz plies his trade as executive director of Entrepreneurship Programmes.
Dr. Malak Al Nory, Dean of Graduate Studies and Scientific Research at Effat University said about the partnership: “We are excited to collaborate with Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy to provide women entrepreneurs in our community with useful programs and give them tools to lead their businesses to success. Effat University takes pride in standing behind empowering women in Saudi Arabia ever since the university was established, and it is truly an honor to be part of this initiative.”
Taking place over three days from March 7-9, 2017, the workshop’s participants will receive cutting-edge training from VCU and Effat University professors and insights from local entrepreneurs on the steps and activities for creating and sustaining the new ventures. Benefiting from the experience of past HFEA workshops, HFEA, VCU and Effat University will offer a great opportunity for local future business leaders to excel in their endeavours, and influence them to think and act like entrepreneurs.
The closing date for applications of HFEA entrepreneurs from Saudi Arabia is February 28, 2017, with limited space available. Candidates may apply by sending their application to firstname.lastname@example.org and get more information about the workshop which will be delivered in English, on Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy LinkedIn page.
Press Release: https://goo.gl/NXG2cw
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