Hosted by Shell and the British Council, this year's Shell Intilaaqah event presented young entrepreneurs with their graduation certificates in the presence of the President of the SME Commission, Mazen Al Dawud, and the British Ambassador, Simon Collis.
The event also provided a platform for successful Shell Intilaaqah alumni to share their inspirational stories, both on stage and at an Intilaaqah bazaar.
The Shell Intilaaqah entrepreneurs cover a broad range of business sectors. For example, Samar Alabd targets pasta lovers in Riyadh with his "Pasta Ross". The trend of quality home-made items is picked up by Taghreed Alhudaithi, whose "Wool World" shop helps crochet lovers to find all their needs. Also, Omar Alshamlan started Saudi Industrialist Factory, the first business specialising in the provision of disposable medical tools. Forbes Middle East recognised Omar as one of the entrepreneurs shaping the Kingdom's future in 2014.
This year, over 50% of the Shell Intilaaqah graduates are women, and one of the female entrepreneurs to have successfully completed the Shell Intilaaqah KSA enterprise development programme, Ghazel Aldossary, said, "Thanks to Shell Intilaaqah I realise that failure is only to stop trying to get success.”
Another graduate entrepreneur, Bader Al Johani, said that he was, "Proud to be one of the Intilaaqah beneficiaries, and thanks to the team who have given me continuous support to achieve success.”
Patrick Van Daele, VP and Country Chairman of Shell in Saudi Arabia said, "I congratulate today's graduates and all the men and women who came before them. The success stories I heard, make me proud of every entrepreneur we have been training since 2010 for taking the brave but sensible step to start a business. The ingenuity, intelligence and innovative power of entrepreneurs form the foundation of a sustainable economy.”
British Ambassador, Simon Collis said, "It is my pleasure to join this event for Intilaaqah which supports SMEs in KSA. I think that we are obligated to support SMEs and to encourage the commercial, and economic cooperation between Saudi and British entrepreneurs.
British Council Director in Saudi Arabia, Charlie Walker said, "We are very excited to be part of Shell Intilaaqah for the second year running. The programme helps foster a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future for the Kingdom. Shell Intilaaqah entrepreneurs benefit from our expertise which helps them to develop their business and communities, while supporting the employment policies of the Saudi government at the national level.”
President of the SME Commission, Mazen Al Dawud said that he was proud to attend the event and support Intilaaqah which creates successful entrepreneurs.
Since 2010, Shell's Intilaaqah programme has trained well over 10,000 Saudis – the majority of which are women.
Commenting on the success of the programme to date, Nawaf Almusra, Programme Manager of Shell Intilaaqah KSA said, "Shell Intilaaqah strengthens young people's career options by enabling them to switch from being an employee to becoming an employer, or making the transition from seeking employment to creating employment. Over the past years, our trainees have set up 1,100 businesses, and we mentored another 500 existing small and medium businesses. Together, they created well over 3,300 jobs.
"Shell Intilaaqah's success wouldn't be possible without the support from its partners: the Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu; the British Council; the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce; and, the Saudi Credit Bank.”