Workshop encourages technology-driven innovation, teaches children to build mobile app prototypes
Sharjah-UAE: 3 August, 2017: Crescent Enterprises, the UAE-based multinational conglomerate, organised its second Young Entrepreneur Business Camp in collaboration with Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC). The three-day series of workshops focused on building entrepreneurial capabilities and soft skills in children between the ages of eight and 13.
The event was part of the pilot phase of Sharjah's first entrepreneurship programme dedicated to children, which is a collaborative effort of Crescent Enterprises and SLC that aims to support female entrepreneurs and foster young talent in the GCC region. Crescent Enterprises and SLC have co-hosted a series of two Young Entrepreneur Business Camps in the last seven months, which drew the participation of 28 young girls.
The workshops comprised a host of interactive and hands-on sessions that introduced the children to key entrepreneurial processes, such as conceptualising innovative ideas, developing a business model and pitching to a panel of investors. Other sessions focused on honing soft skills, including critical thinking and teamwork, through creative activities. In line with the programme's focus on the role of technology in business, participants also designed and simulated their own mobile applications using the paper prototyping technique.
Speaking about the application prototype that she designed at the camp, Moza Alnaimi, one of the young entrepreneurs, said: “The application that I made is for schoolwork. Every year, you need new schoolbooks and in some schools, you have to pay for them. Through my app students from all grades can get their books online for free. Your teacher can also send you homework on the app, you can complete it and get your grade – all on the app.”
She added: “I liked building an app, as it was something new for me. We also learned about diversity and how to communicate with others. It was encouraging to learn that when you start a business, it is not such a bad thing to fail.”
Ola al Haj Hussin, Corporate Citizenship Manager at Crescent Enterprises, said: “Children are truly the source of tomorrow's ideas and innovation. It is important we teach them to create their own opportunities and thrive regardless of the economic situation or the job market. With this goal in mind, we are proud to collaborate with SLC in creating a unique learning environment that enables young entrepreneurs to grow into independent, confident and capable leaders.”
She added: “The Young Entrepreneur Business Camp aligns with Crescent Enterprises' commitment to equipping tomorrow's leaders with skills and self-belief that will lead them to master, and maybe even create, unconventional jobs that may not exist today. To this end, we have invited like-minded institutions to explore the possibility of scaling the pilot across the emirate with organisations such as the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), so that the footprint of the programme is expanded to reach as many children as possible.”
For her part, Shaikha Al Suwaidi, Manager of the SLC's Collage Talent Centre, said: “These workshops are an integral component of SLC's Mushmis Summer Camp and has been specially designed to teach the young attendees how to design and present ideas, therefore building their communication skills. Entrepreneurship and innovation are the lifeblood of the UAE economy, so we believe that it is essential to use every available opportunity to impart these skills to the nation's youngest members. We are delighted to be able to partner with Crescent Enterprises to bring this vital educational experience to the camp's participants.”
The Young Entrepreneur Business Camp is part of Crescent Enterprises' corporate citizenship programmes that support community causes through creative and sustainable solutions. In 2016, the programmes impacted 34,476 community members, which included initiatives that focused on developing soft skills and instilling a sense of entrepreneurship among schoolchildren, university students, young entrepreneurs and businesswomen.
In addition to its collaboration with SLC, Crescent Enterprises entered an exclusive strategic partnership with Sheraa in February 2017 to co-create initiatives that cultivate the region's social entrepreneurship ecosystem.