Press of the Button
With a press of the button Dr. Dave Pelham, Director of the Higher Colleges of Technology-Fujairah, launched ‘LEQA’, a new business network initiative for the eastern emirate.
‘LEQA’ has two meanings: In Arabic it means ‘Get Together’ so this is a group that will meet monthly to connect experienced entrepreneurs with young, hopeful entrepreneurs to “inspire their minds and ignite their desire to start a business and network with the business community.”
‘LEQA’ is also an acronym—Learning from Entrepreneurs through Questions and Answers—which indicates the interactive format of the upcoming networking events.
The gathering at the HCT’s multipurpose hall this evening (16 November 2011) was initiated, hosted and led by students of the Women’s College.
The brains and hard work to create the successful event was attributed to some entrepreneurial students in the FWC Bachelor Year 4, Accounting Class—Alanoud Al Manaseer, Amnah Saif Al Bedwawi, Khadeyh Abdouli, Mozah Yammahi, Amna Essa Massoud, Khadeijah Al Kendi and Mozah Obaid Yammahi.
In his welcome and introductory remarks, Dave Pelham acknowledged and congratulated the women for working hard to develop tonight’s event and establish the new business network.
Mr. Qais Sedki was the guest speaker who addressed the inaugural LEQA meeting.
He chose not to tell his story of how he founded a publishing business (Pageflip Publishing), why he threw in his safe job in IT for the risky world of writing and publishing classical Arabic novels in Japanese manga style or how he survived to tell the tale.
He decided to concentrate on his audience and stated that the success of his speech would be determined by “one person starting to get the wheels moving and saying to themselves, ‘I never thought about this before. Maybe there’s something in this entrepreneurship for me’.”
Sedki shot holes in the rich entrepreneurial stereotype and defined an entrepreneur as one who is prepared to take risks in order to focus on doing what they are absolutely passionate about.
In the Q & A time after his speech he was asked what might be the best business to commence if you had Dhs 5,000 to invest. Qais wisely said that the money is one of the last things that should determine the nature of your new business. “Better,” he said, “to picture that you have a blank cheque and that you start with what you are passionate about and then develop a business plan that will include having the necessary money to fund the new business.” In his own experience he has been motivated not by the aim of starting a thriving business but by doing something that will bring positive change to the world.
In his frank and confessional style Sedki stated that entrepreneurs need to take baby steps while taking the long view to get their business up and running. “It’s about failure and falling,” he said. “We must value shortcomings. If we believe wholeheartedly in what we are doing we will carry on despite our failings and regardless of the negative comments that others will inevitably make.”
Tonight could be judged a successful start if measured by the numbers who attended, the food that was enjoyed, the mailing list that was established and the networking that happened around the tables.
But only time will tell if the launch of LEQA meets the Sedki Success Test—if one young woman or man declares ‘Maybe there’s something in this entrepreneurship for me’ and goes on to follow their passion, opt for the uncomfortable route and establish a business that will change the world and make a positive contribution to humankind.
Congratulations to HCT-Fujairah on the launch of LEQA and gifting this networking initiative to the emirate of Al Fujairah.
Mark Your Calendar
The next meeting of LEQA is on 18 January 2012 with guest speaker, Mayor Greg Fisher. Mayor Fisher is an entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist who was elected Louisville’s 50th Mayor on 2 November 2010.
Mayor Fisher is the founder of SerVend International, Iceberg Ventures, bCatalyst. He is host of a television series called ‘Intro to Entrepreneurship’.
More Fujairah news, information, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: Qais Sedki, not in his own terms a ‘successful entrepreneur’ but a self-confessed risk taker who is intent on having fun while changing the world.