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Kuwaitis have ‘magical recipes’ for successful enterprise
June 15, 2014, 10:27 am
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Kuwaiti entrepreneurs, 15 years after Government authorities began supporting small and business enterprise, have made noticeable success at the domestic and Gulf levels. Their success have raised eyebrows, particularly during the “third Gulf forum for small and medium enterprises,” hosted by Kuwait on 14-15 April, when they grabbed most of the first ten awards for business excellence.

To determine “the magical recipes” for their success, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) has interviewed those pioneering Kuwaiti entrepreneurs, who also shed light on some of the hurdles they often face.

Talking about the Gulf forum, Dawood Maarefi, the Chairman of its steering committee and the CEO of “Al-Shiraa Company,” said that the annual gathering aims to promote Gulf commercial trademarks. A contest is held during the workshop to grant awards to the best enterprise in the regional countries.

The top 10 winners, he added, are dispatched to Australia to represent Kuwait and the other GCC states at the G20 Summit, where more than 500 entrepreneurial initiatives from various corners of the world are showcased.

As to the criteria of choosing winners, Maarefi said jurists examine the idea behind the project, its sustainability, the entrepreneur’s personal traits, presentation of the project and its proceeds.

The judging board includes representatives from Gulf institutions and authorities that support these ventures, such as the Saudi “Al-Me’awiyah” fund, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development of the UAE, Mohammed Bin Rashed Al-Maktoum Foundation, Oman’s national fund for the development of small and medium enterprises and Qatar Investment Fund.

The main objective of the Gulf forum, hosted by Kuwait annually, is to pave the way for the opening up of the Gulf markets to these businesses, Maarefi said.

Chairman of Kuwait Food Concepts Basel Al-Salem, who earned an award for Burger Boutique Restaurant, said he launched the business in 2005 with conventional burgers, but later he shifted to health and organic food. Currently, he has branches in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Ghazi Al-Hajeri, one of the winners, spoke to KUNA about one of his successful projects; a makeshift soccer field, installed at a commercial mall, with surrounding audio-visual effects. The enterprise, called Goal was first launched some six years ago in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Written on his project’s website: “Equipped with state of the art football turf, our multiple fields offer players of all ages an unmatched safe and pleasant environment to practice and enjoy their number one sport, football.”

Mohammed Al-Suraye’s, Director of Dawrat.Com project said his enterprise ranked third in the Gulf contest, explaining that it encompasses planned training courses in Kuwait. A number of international companies have shown interest in the venture and have expressed desire to contribute and elevate it to regional and internal levels, he added.

Founder of Dear and Dear enterprise Mohammed Al-Anjari told KUNA that his company trades in Gulf traditional costumes and dresses. As to the problems he faces, Al-Anjari responded with a 0 lack of plots, high rents and shortage of skilled labor. Marzouq Al-Mutairi of Inner Works said his factory manufacture cement and construction materials for internal decoration. He praised the Industrial Bank of Kuwait that supported his project, but complained of high costs of storage and accommodations.

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