International Space City to create 1 million Arab women space entrepreneurs

The six-week online programme will help Arab women in the GCC to launch their own space-related businesses

FILE PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken lifts off during NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., May 30, 2020. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo
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Liverpool-based International Space City, a virtual commercial city to promote the business of space, is rolling out a new online programme called Spacehackers to create 1 million Arab women space entrepreneurs.

Held under the "inspire generations" campaign, Spacehackers is a six-week leadership and mini-MBA training programme. It will help Arab women in the GCC to launch their own space-related business in three areas – law and ethics, social impact and trade and business.

“Space 4.0 is an emerging industry … if we encourage responsible business from the start, we won’t have to try and fix it later,” Helen Rankin, executive director of International Space City, said.

“Affordable technology and increased entrepreneurship globally has decentralised and accelerated commercialisation of the space industry … now is the time for creativity, innovation and responsible business,” said Ms Rankin.

The initiative, which was originally scheduled to launch in March, was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first batch will commence classes from November 17.

Cheaper and faster technology has paved the way for smaller companies to innovate and disrupt the space industry. The global space economy is estimated to generate revenue of $1 trillion or more in 2040, up from $350 billion this year, according to Morgan Stanley.

The most significant short- and medium-term opportunities may come from satellite broadband internet access, the American investment bank said.

It will represent 50 per cent of the projected growth of the global space economy by 2040 and as much as 70 per cent in the most bullish scenario. Launching satellites that offer broadband internet service will help to drive down the cost of data, just as demand for data explodes.

The International Space City describes Spacehackers as individuals who use creative, low-cost strategies to accelerate the commercialisation of the space industry.

“Spacehackers are the new generation of space entrepreneurs,” said Ms Rankin, adding that there are many similarities between the internet boom of the 1990s and the current state of the space industry.

“We can repeat our mistakes or learn from them … we need entrepreneurs to lead the way, to set the agenda now on outer space law and ethics, off-planet social impact and interplanetary trade,” she added.

Applications are encouraged from adult women, non-graduates and graduates of all ages and backgrounds in the GCC. Interested applicants can register here by paying $150.