His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Al-Zuhair, Executive Chairman of the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprise Development in Kuwait announced in a statement to the press that the fund will host its first forum on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 at the Sheraton Hotel in Kuwait City. Dr. Yousef Al-Ali, Minister of Commerce and Industry will inaugurate the forum which will last for two days.
Dr. Al Zuhair added that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah's sponsorship of the event reiterates his support for entrepreneurship and Kuwait’s youth.
The National Fund for SME Development forum will host local and international participants to showcase a wide variety of experiences in the domain of SME entrepreneurship. High Advisory Committee member Lord Jonathan Marland and Mrs. Annabel Gonzalez, Senior Director at the World Bank Group will take part.
The forum agenda also includes two significant talks. HE Abdulla Al Darmaki, CEO of Khalifa Fund UAE will present the regional discussion and HE Dato Hafsah Hashim, CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia will present a discussion from the Asian point of view. Other participants include Fadi Ghandour, the co-founder and vice chairman of Aramex; chairman and managing partner of Wamda Capital.
Dr. Al-Zuhair invites all field-related experts and those who are interested in SME development to attend the forum and offer their insights, advice and suggestions to challenge and inspire the local SME sector and further encourage and help develop SMEs and entrepreneurship in Kuwait.
There will be several panel discussions on SME development held during the forum including the first one titled “The Role of SME in Building Kuwait’s Economy” which will be moderated by Dr. Al-Zuhair.
A second discussion will be moderated by Mr. Mohammed Abdullah, executive director at the National Fund for SME Development and will focus on the National Fund’s organizational structure from a strategic perspective along with the Fund’s main responsibilities.
The last panel discussion will be focused on ‘Building the entrepreneurship culture in Kuwait within a constrained business ecosystem’ moderated by Mr. Habib Haddad, CEO of Wamda. Wamda is an enabling platform for entrepreneurs that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems across Middle East and North Africa region.
Kuwaiti entrepreneur Dr. Naif Al Mutawa will participate in the forum in a session where he will talk about the Kuwaiti market and the nature of SMEs in Kuwait.
Expert and Pioneers
Dr. Al-Zuhair added that the second day will feature the ‘Mix ‘n Mentor’ event: A community building exercise that aims to facilitate effective and meaningful connections between exceptional entrepreneurs and ecosystem agents such as SME experts to share knowledge and experience.
Dr. Al-Zuhair concluded by expressing his hopes that participants will find the forum effective and useful.