Cisco has announced its first Cisco® Entrepreneur Institute training center in the United Arab Emirates which was opened on May 10th at the Dubai Knowledge Village. The institute will foster the creation and success of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by providing practical business insight, facilitating knowledge sharing with local business leaders, and highlighting the role that information and communications technology (ICT) plays in speeding up business growth.
The announcement was made together with WideView, a leading provider of speakers, trainers and consultants. WideView will be offering in-person and e-learning sessions utilizing a combination of Web 2.0 and advanced open-source tools, including Moodle and Cisco WebEx®.
The courses were created to help entrepreneurs improve their skills and enhance business development opportunities as well as provide a forum for SMB owners to collaborate and share business expertise.
Cisco is providing the institute with an online course-management system and a choice of three curriculums: “Starting a Business,” “Growing a Business” and the iExecutive Enterprise Essential (iExec). The course content was developed by Cisco in collaboration with business experts from Stanford University, Cornell University and My Own Business. WideView will be localizing the courses and delivering them both in English and Arabic, a process that will be facilitated by a user-generated function developed in Moodle.
The “Starting a Business” workshop is a 52-hour course that aims to provide entrepreneurs with an understanding of the legal requirements, accounting, management and marketing skills needed to successfully start a business. The course is specifically tailored to empower individuals seeking to start a small to medium-sized business. It will include instruction, group exercises, online learning, case studies, discussion forums and mentoring as each participant completes an individual business plan project.
The “Growing a Business” workshop is a practical and comprehensive 40-hour business course designed to empower small to medium-sized business entrepreneurs to expand their businesses by equipping them with the necessary knowledge, resources and networking opportunities. The course tackles a range of topics including reorganization, outsourcing, franchising, merging and forming partnerships. The workshop includes instruction, small-group work and online learning.
iExec Enterprise Essentials (iExec): This 50-hour course was specifically designed to empower leaders and “agents of change” by equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to create a lasting business impact within their enterprise. The course aims to demonstrate the power of information and communications technology (ICT) in accelerating business results.
In addition, WideView will be interviewing prospective and experienced entrepreneurs and business experts in the UAE and sharing their experiences with the students, as well as inviting local business experts as workshop advisers and guest speakers to help students learn about the local business environment and its challenges and opportunities.
Issa Mohammed Al-Anati, managing director of WideView, said: “This unique approach helps enable individuals and companies to start and grow their businesses in this part of the world. The courses will cater to several different business and entrepreneur industries, including government, private sector, youth and businesswomen. Through the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute, business workshops, mentoring networks and technology resources, participants gain business skills, practical knowledge and expertise tailored for their country’s business environment, while also providing the platform for governments to reach out to citizens and support new ideas.”
Sam Alkharrat, managing director for Cisco Gulf and Pakistan, said: “With small-and-medium businesses forming a significant portion of the UAE economy, improving their performance can help accelerate economic growth and raise living standards. The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute courses are designed to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in the UAE, through encouraging innovative solutions and the sharing of best practices, thereby enabling growth and job creation.”
Cisco intends to work with business and government leaders in other countries across the Gulf region to establish similar entrepreneur initiatives. Cisco Entrepreneur Institutes are already established in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.