As part of its outreach initiatives for young job seekers and aspiring entrepreneurs, Silatech has hosted a series of youth-focused workshops during this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 17-21).
University and high school students from throughout Doha attended a series of sessions delivered by TypeFocus founder and CEO David Wood. On November 18, “Entrepreneurship and Self Awareness” introduced participants to the concept of personality types, encouraging them to think reflectively and consider whether or not entrepreneurship might be an appropriate career choice.
The next day, Wood outlined the distinction between “becoming an entrepreneur” and simply starting a business in order to get a job in “Entrepreneurship and Starting One’s Own Business: What’s the Difference?” He cautioned against starting a business simply to “get a job,” emphasizing that “If that is the case, then you are not starting a business, you are simply hiring yourself. This usually ends in frustration and failure.”
And on November 20, Wood prompted participants to think about their natural strengths, and then described some of the various qualities and skills particularly required by entrepreneurs in a workshop entitled “Entrepreneurship as a Career Option.”
Silatech Senior Career Guidance Manager Salwa Atiyyah stressed the importance of young people carefully considering entrepreneurship as a viable career option: “The objective of these sessions is simply to encourage youth to carefully think about what type of career suits them best, and what would make them most happy. Not everybody can or should become an entrepreneur. But for those who have the drive and the right type of personality, we want to give them the encouragement and support they need to pursue their dreams.”
Youth Panel Answers “What Does it Take to Get Employed?”
Also on November 20, Silatech convened a panel of students and recent graduates to discuss their experiences in searching, applying for, and getting jobs in Qatar. The participants attended the discussion, taking advantage of the opportunity to air their worries and ask questions about “life after graduation” in an informal setting from others who have already gone through the experience.
Silatech Program Manager Yehia Houry introduced the students to “Qatar Ta3mal” (www.ta3mal.qatar.com), an employability portal developed especially for young job seekers and entrepreneurs. Qatar Ta3mal (which means “Qatar Works”) aggregates a wide variety of career guidance, job skills, entrepreneurship and online learning resources into one convenient location to help young people make a smooth transition into employment. Ta3mal is a regional platform developed jointly by Silatech and Microsoft. Individual country portals for Ta3mal have now been launched in Egypt, Qatar, Iraq and Tunisia, with plans to expand to additional Arab countries in the future.
According to Rachel Awad, Silatech Associate Director for Employability, “Ta3mal is a dynamic solution; what we offer needs to be closely connected with what young people really want and need in an employability portal. With that in mind, we plan to incorporate the ideas and issues raised during this session into Qatar Ta3mal.”
Based in Doha, Silatech is a regional social initiative focused on improving the climate for employment and entrepreneurship for young people throughout the Arab world. Silatech is also the Qatar Country Host Partner for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), a worldwide celebration featuring thousands of entrepreneurship-focused activities in over 140 countries. This year, GEW-Qatar will feature over 60 workshops, discussions, lectures and interactive sessions taking place over the five day (November 17-21) period. Other organizations participating in GEW-Qatar include Enterprise Qatar, Shell, QSTP, ictQatar, QDB, Qatar University, Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Entrepreneurs Organization, How Women Work, Bedaya Center, VCU-Qatar, Qatar is Booming, Private Sector Magazine, Qatar Today, I Love Qatar, Campus, and others.
Other Silatech-organized events and activities taking place during Global Entrepreneurship Week include a series of discussions on improving the policy climate to encourage entrepreneurship in Qatar, and an exploration of the potential for crowdfunding platforms to benefit young entrepreneurs throughout the MENA region. On November 18, Silatech sponsored Doha Venture Day, an event of the IE Business School which brought 18 startup entrepreneurs from Qatar and the region together to pitch their ideas to potential investors.
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