Middle East’s first: UAE hosts National Achievers Congress, promotes entrepreneurs

DUBAI, 18th November, 2016 (WAM) — The National Achievers Congress, a two-day global event being held in the Middle East for the first time, was inaugurated today by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.

Now in its 23rd year, the Congress brings together a large number of renowned global achievers and influencers who aim to inspire and encourage participants to follow their dreams. The speakers also share key tools and insights, required to succeed in any business.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation, members of the royal family and VIP’s from across the region were present at the conference.

Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development, DED, and mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise of the SME sector in Dubai, is the strategic government partner of the event.

During his opening speech, the Minister of Culture addressed the importance of creating a new generation of entrepreneurs in the Middle East and how this would impact the overall economy of the region.

“Entrepreneurs inevitably advance their new ideas beyond familiar and safe boundaries. That concept is familiar to you if you live and work in the UAE. This is a country defined by entrepreneurship. You are working and living in a country that naturally welcomes entrepreneurs and thrives on their successes,” the Minister said.

He also recognised the importance of such events to raise the entrepreneurial spirit and drive innovation. “The National Achievers Congress will excite your imagination, augment your education, expand your experience, and energise your intelligence. This Congress will strengthen your readiness for entrepreneurial action. But it is you who must act,” he said.

The Minister, along with Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, also visited the projects on display, developed by the UAE talents and entrepreneurs. The event has given them a unique opportunity to display their ideas to fellow entrepreneurs, innovative young leaders, mentors, coaches and potential sponsors.

“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved today in bringing this prominent event to the Middle East and attracting approximately 2,000 participants. Hosting the National Achievers Congress is not just a business aspiration for us, but also a personal accomplishment. With this event, we aimed to inspire the entrepreneur in everyone, to show people that they can achieve amazing things if only they start believing in themselves and take action to achieve their goals,” said Zina Al-Zuhairi, Co-founder and Executive Director of Najahi, event organisers.

“As part of this, we are showing people key strategies they can use to achieve financial freedom and take control of their future. We are very much looking forward to hearing about the future successes of our congress participants to see what journey this event may inspire them to take,” she added.

Some of the projects on display at the congress have been developed by entrepreneurs registered with Dubai SME and are part of Najahi’s commitment to encourage and inspire SMEs in the UAE, besides equipping them with the tools and skills required to succeed in their endeavours.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation have strong interlinks, and encouraging the spirit of innovation is at the core of our entrepreneurial development programmes. We have created templates for young entrepreneurs to step into a growth cycle, and test-launch and develop their creativity with initiatives such as the Young Entrepreneur Competition, Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy and Hamdan Innovation Incubator. The National Achievers Congress is an opportunity for our member SMEs to share their success stories and learn from the experiences of entrepreneurs worldwide,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

The event has been designed to provide participants with an educational yet engaging experience. The Congress features an ‘edutainment’ concept and participants take part in various activities while learning best practices from renowned mentors. “It has been scientifically proven that education is most effective when people are highly engaged, which is why we have the participants taking part in various activities. In this way, what they have learnt will resonate with them,” Al-Zuhairi said.

On the first day, Robert Kiyosaki, author of the best-selling personal finance book in the world, took the stage and addressed the importance of ‘financial literacy’ and provided participants with the tools to help them manage their income and generate ‘passive income’. Kiyosaki also shed light on the difference between good debts and bad debts, how to overcome challenges and the opportunities to strive for in the coming year.

Internet mogul Pen Joon later discussed how to create an online empire. With his audience, he shared some valuable tools and a three-step system that could be used when trading and running an e-commerce business.