I attended the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by Entrepreneurs of Arabia, in Dubai this week and found it to have great panel discussions and great networking opportunities. Hopping from panel discussion to the other while stopping to network with global leaders and inspirational personalities in the field of entrepreneurship, I summarized my lessons taken in the following list:
1. Entrepreneurship can't be taught in an academic manner. It must be simulated, hands on, and led by local as well as global business leaders in who can offer mentorship.
2. Entrepreneurship does NOT depend upon a university degree. No company in its right mind would hire a CEO based on an Entrepreneurship PhD degree or simply their educational background; again, experience is important.
3. Conferences need to be active and focused. In this era of Iinformation revolution, knowledge has become accessible to all, decreasing its value, we cannot afford to waste time deliberating and gathering just to exchange knowledge. We must utilize our time more effectively and only gather to share experiences, business cases and actions.
4. Collaboration is essential. The next global economic revolution is spearheaded by collaboration and corroboration. Collaborate with others now to utilize the power of the collective intelligence.
Having digested these lessons and upon arriving back home in Muscat, it became very clear that in Oman we need to shake the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Creating ways to identify the silos we've built and scrutinizing the status quo will be essential for creating a more harmonized startup community.
There are some local initiatives attempting to support entrepreneurs and startups, however, there is a disconnect between entrepreneurs on the ground and some of these initiatives. This is caused by the market's supply-focused, top-down approach.
At our "Entrepreneurs-4-Entrepreneurs" initiative, such as the Oman Entrepreneurs Network "Jam Sessions" and soon the "Open Office" days, we are toppling that top-down hierarchial pyramid on its head, enabling a grassroots approach, where entrepreneurs guide entrepreneurs into this mystic and highly rewarding journey of startup creation and sustainability.