ABU DHABI, UAE (16/04/2011) Students of NYU [L to R] Ty Karaba, Ben Higgins, Mark Hoffman, Sidak Yintiso, Mohammed Omar, and Abdelrazak Al Aharif discuss their business concept as part of a work shop on Entrepreneurship at the NYU campus, Abu Dhabi. (Callaghan Walsh / for The National)
Students at New York University Abu Dhabi discuss their business ideas at a workshop on entrepreneurship. Collaboration, being media savvy and leveraging the right platforms can help budding businesseShow more

Five tips to keep in mind when pursuing entrepreneurship in 2022



Entrepreneurship has been one of the most rewarding and exhausting journeys for me. Like most experiences in life, I learnt my lessons through trial and error and by seeking advice from my mentors. As some might be pondering the entrepreneurship track this year, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Find your niche

As great as your business may sound to you, it must be beneficial in one way or another to your customers. What problem is your business solving? How does it improve the lives of customers? And how does it make the community better?

Go online

Many of the businesses that shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic did so because they didn’t invest in digital infrastructure or grow online communities that would have helped them serve their customers amid lockdowns. Social media and digital tools can help you rapidly build an online presence. Starting with an online presence only is also very cost efficient and you can then expand to have a physical presence, including pop-ups from time to time.

Networking is key

We have a saying in Arabic that translates to: “You can’t clap with one hand.” Growing up, I was an extremely shy person, but pursuing entrepreneurship encouraged me to step out of my shell and connect with people. You would be surprised by how many people are willing to support and help. Though networking events usually take place physically, luckily professional networking also takes place online, such as on Twitter Spaces or LinkedIn.

Collaborations help you grow

While you can achieve your target with the help of your team, you would get there faster by collaborating or partnering with other entities. For instance, if you are in the art industry and planning an event, approach an art space that would be willing to collaborate with you to host your event. That way, you may get the space free of charge and tap the art space’s audience. Think of on-boarding other partners that can help cover other costs. For instance, as an art event organiser, you may partner with media companies in exchange of covering the event, and team up with a leading printing house that can cover the expenses of any printing for the event. What I appreciated most about collaboration over the years, is that it helps your business reach new heights faster, and it’s almost always a win-win for all partners on board.

Focus on PR and word of mouth

I always believe that advertising your business is easy. If you have the money, you can advertise anywhere and create a buzz. But that won’t necessarily help your business grow or boost your audience. Focus instead on word of mouth and public relations. That means having a media plan in place that highlights your business across different news outlets and talking to right people about your business. So instead of paying a random influencer with the highest number of followers to talk about your business, look for a credible influencer whose opinion matters to their followers. Ask them to present case studies and share their insights. I would also advise that you focus on engagement rather than the number of impressions. You want an influencer’s followers to be engaging with the content they share. That way you will have your content exposed to more audiences.

Networking, embracing technology and finding a niche can help those looking to start a business.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @manar_alhinai

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

THE SPECS

Range Rover Sport Autobiography Dynamic

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8

Transmission: six-speed manual

Power: 518bhp

Torque: 625Nm

Speed: 0-100kmh 5.3 seconds

Price: Dh633,435

On sale: now

Inside Out 2

Director: Kelsey Mann

Starring: Amy Poehler, Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri

Rating: 4.5/5

Race card

5pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m; 5.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

6pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m; 6.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 2,200m

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (PA) 1,400m

The specs

Engine: two permanent magnet synchronous motors
Transmission: two-speed
Power: 625hp
Torque: 850Nm
Range: 456km
Price: from Dh737,480
On sale: now

DUBAI BLING: EPISODE 1

Creator: Netflix

Stars: Kris Fade, Ebraheem Al Samadi, Zeina Khoury

Rating: 2/5

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

BOSH!'s pantry essentials

Nutritional yeast

This is Firth's pick and an ingredient he says, "gives you an instant cheesy flavour". He advises making your own cream cheese with it or simply using it to whip up a mac and cheese or wholesome lasagne. It's available in organic and specialist grocery stores across the UAE.

Seeds

"We've got a big jar of mixed seeds in our kitchen," Theasby explains. "That's what you use to make a bolognese or pie or salad: just grab a handful of seeds and sprinkle them over the top. It's a really good way to make sure you're getting your omegas."

Umami flavours

"I could say soya sauce, but I'll say all umami-makers and have them in the same batch," says Firth. He suggests having items such as Marmite, balsamic vinegar and other general, dark, umami-tasting products in your cupboard "to make your bolognese a little bit more 'umptious'".

Onions and garlic

"If you've got them, you can cook basically anything from that base," says Theasby. "These ingredients are so prevalent in every world cuisine and if you've got them in your cupboard, then you know you've got the foundation of a really nice meal."

Your grain of choice

Whether rice, quinoa, pasta or buckwheat, Firth advises always having a stock of your favourite grains in the cupboard. "That you, you have an instant meal and all you have to do is just chuck a bit of veg in."

Roll of Honour, men’s domestic rugby season

West Asia Premiership
Champions: Dubai Tigers
Runners up: Bahrain

UAE Premiership
Champions: Jebel Ali Dragons
Runners up: Dubai Hurricanes

UAE Division 1
Champions: Dubai Sharks
Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins II

UAE Division 2
Champions: Dubai Tigers III
Runners up: Dubai Sharks II

Dubai Sevens
Champions: Dubai Tigers
Runners up: Dubai Hurricanes

Electric scooters: some rules to remember
  • Riders must be 14-years-old or over
  • Wear a protective helmet
  • Park the electric scooter in designated parking lots (if any)
  • Do not leave electric scooter in locations that obstruct traffic or pedestrians
  • Solo riders only, no passengers allowed
  • Do not drive outside designated lanes
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES

All kick-off times 10.45pm UAE (+4 GMT) unless stated

Tuesday
Sevilla v Maribor
Spartak Moscow v Liverpool
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk
Napoli v Feyenoord
Besiktas v RB Leipzig
Monaco v Porto
Apoel Nicosia v Tottenham Hotspur
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Wednesday
Basel v Benfica
CSKA Moscow Manchester United
Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich
Anderlecht v Celtic
Qarabag v Roma (8pm)
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea
Juventus v Olympiakos
Sporting Lisbon v Barcelona

Teri Baaton Mein Aisa Uljha Jiya

Directors: Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Dharmendra, Dimple Kapadia, Rakesh Bedi

Rating: 4/5

The biog:

Languages: Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, basic Russian 

Favourite food: Pizza 

Best food on the road: rice

Favourite colour: silver 

Favourite bike: Gold Wing, Honda

Favourite biking destination: Canada 

The biog

Name: Abeer Al Bah

Born: 1972

Husband: Emirati lawyer Salem Bin Sahoo, since 1992

Children: Soud, born 1993, lawyer; Obaid, born 1994, deceased; four other boys and one girl, three months old

Education: BA in Elementary Education, worked for five years in a Dubai school

 

Cricket World Cup League Two

Oman, UAE, Namibia

Al Amerat, Muscat

 

Results

Oman beat UAE by five wickets

UAE beat Namibia by eight runs

 

Fixtures

Wednesday January 8 –Oman v Namibia

Thursday January 9 – Oman v UAE

Saturday January 11 – UAE v Namibia

Sunday January 12 – Oman v Namibia

If you go

The flights
There are various ways of getting to the southern Serengeti in Tanzania from the UAE. The exact route and airstrip depends on your overall trip itinerary and which camp you’re staying at. 
Flydubai flies direct from Dubai to Kilimanjaro International Airport from Dh1,350 return, including taxes; this can be followed by a short flight from Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti with Coastal Aviation from about US$700 (Dh2,500) return, including taxes. Kenya Airways, Emirates and Etihad offer flights via Nairobi or Dar es Salaam.   

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

ALRAWABI SCHOOL FOR GIRLS

Creator: Tima Shomali

Starring: Tara Abboud, Kira Yaghnam, Tara Atalla

Rating: 4/5

Russia's Muslim Heartlands

Dominic Rubin, Oxford

The cost of Covid testing around the world

Egypt

Dh514 for citizens; Dh865 for tourists

Information can be found through VFS Global.

Jordan

Dh212

Centres include the Speciality Hospital, which now offers drive-through testing.

Cambodia

Dh478

Travel tests are managed by the Ministry of Health and National Institute of Public Health.

Zanzibar

AED 295

Zanzibar Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, located within the Lumumba Secondary School compound.

Abu Dhabi

Dh85

Abu Dhabi’s Seha has test centres throughout the UAE.

UK

From Dh400

Heathrow Airport now offers drive through and clinic-based testing, starting from Dh400 and up to Dh500 for the PCR test.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Top Hundred overseas picks

London Spirit: Kieron Pollard, Riley Meredith

Welsh Fire: Adam Zampa, David Miller, Naseem Shah

Manchester Originals: Andre Russell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Sean Abbott

Northern Superchargers: Dwayne Bravo, Wahab Riaz

Oval Invincibles: Sunil Narine, Rilee Rossouw

Trent Rockets: Colin Munro

Birmingham Phoenix: Matthew Wade, Kane Richardson

Southern Brave: Quinton de Kock

'Of Love & War'
Lynsey Addario, Penguin Press

Updated: May 19, 2023, 4:22 PM

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