Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Innovation needs perspective not isolation Break free from the entrepreneurship dream bubble

I was honoured to be invited to Bahrain this week to give a talk at an event organised by Bahrain Development Bank’s Rowad Programme, a comprehensive platform providing multiple layers of support to Bahrain’s entrepreneurs and start-ups. Rowad’s breadth and depth are far greater than anything else that I have seen in the region, and…

Sharjah’s cost advantage a win for UAE startups

Entrepreneurs are facing pressure from multiple challenges with a major one continuing to be the cost structure of doing business in the UAE. Sharjah appears to provide a solution. This section of today’s column is co-written with Najla Al-Midfa, General Manager of Sheraa and one of the region’s thought leaders and active architects of entrepreneurship…

Fintech’s power is in the unbanked and unbankable

In today’s article ­Kath­arine Budd, the chief executive and co-founder of Now Money, a Dubai-based fintech start-up, joins me in explaining how fintech works. To understand this new financial services phenomenon, it is best to start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. Although you might now be able to operate your…

My Zawya Story, 2nd Edition

In 2012, Zawya, a UAE-based business media company, was sold to Thomson Reuters for a 20 times cash return by Saffar, a low-profile private equity company. I am the founding chief executive of Saffar and became chairman of Zawya after we acquired it, between 2001 and 2011. This is my story of how I bought…

Venture capital as a substitute for oil in driving economic growth

Venture capital is critical to the future success of not only the UAE but also the GCC. To understand this we first need to understand the historic formula for our success – oil leads to financial capital, which leads to real estate development, which creates social and business communities that attract people. Repeat. Even if…

Oil, Opec, Economic Reform and Venture Capital

Last week the Minister of Energy for the UAE was reported in an article as saying that it is too soon to extend the oil supply deal, and then shortly afterwards there was a report that Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy had said the deal could be extended after the first six months. I am known to be pessimistic…

Companies need to create the role of Entrepreneurial Leader

Business is challenging. Being successful at business is extremely challenging. It takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to acquire new clients, retain existing clients, manage your team, manage your portfolio of projects and deliver the high-quality products and services that you need to remain competitive in the market. Do you want an idea…

Preparing for your Start-up

Many people dream of starting their own business, but in nearly every single attempt that I have invested in, mentored and even directly experienced, the preparation has been woefully lacking. The trigger for starting a business should be the completion of a preparation phase. Unfortunately, the reality is that the trigger has no correlation to…

How Steve Jobs and Apple Dominated the World

Steve Jobs is a modern day, corporate equivalent of Ghengis Khan, and Apple was his horde. This is the story of how he did it. If I asked you what business Avis or Budget were in you would probably say car rental. Although this is true it is not the most effective way to think…