Entrepreneurship programmes and workshops can give aspiring business leaders the skills and confidence they need to launch their business. But what happens after the programme wraps up and the cohort disperses? How can these graduates tap into the knowledge and experiences of fellow entrepreneurs? Shell Intilaaqah Oman wanted to close that gap. That’s why they launched “iClub,” a club focused exclusively on Shell Intilaaqah alumni.
Launched at a special ceremony in December, iClub brings together budding entrepreneurs to network and share challenges and success stories with one another. They can explore best business management practices, meet industry experts and potential investors, and much more.
“This is a great way for entrepreneurs to feel supported and to learn from each other,” said Najwa Al Kindi, director of Shell Intilaaqah Oman. “We hope that the iClub will nurture the entrepreneurial spirit within the community of Shell Intilaaqah graduates and increase the programme’s added value.”
During the launch event, Intilaaqah alumni elected Khalid Al Haribi – a fellow alum – to serve as the club’s president. Al Haribi is the founder and managing director of Impact Integrated, a consulting company focused on leveraging artificial intelligence to help businesses achieve their goals. He’s also a Shell Intilaaqah alum and a recipient of the 2010 Shell Best Entrepreneur Award.
“The trust of my fellow club members is a great honor and responsibility,” Al Haribi said. “I have been privileged to witness the progress of Shell Intilaaqah since 2009, and I am looking forward to work with my colleagues to foster a dynamic network that contribute to the growth of our enterprises and our community.”
Meanwhile, Shell Intilaaqah alumni Shaima Al Hajri, Ziana Al Shibani, Samia Al Mebsli, Khalfia Al Balushi, and Yousif Al Hashammi were elected to serve on the club’s Executive Committee.
Al Kindi said she and the Shell Intilaaqah team felt that it was vital for alumni to play a leading role in running the club.
“We believe that alumni and entrepreneurs are the ones facing different challenges on daily basis,” she said. “They understand their needs best, and we wanted the club activities to reflect and add relevant value to entrepreneurs. Our aim is to provide a safe, dynamic and trusted environment where entrepreneurs discuss their business and challenges, share and receive practical advice, network and socialize professionally with a group of peer entrepreneurs.”
Intilaaqah alumni will continue to play a leading role in iClub’s direction. For instance, Al Haribi and the Executive Committee surveyed alumni and other Omani entrepreneurs to ensure that they understand their members’ needs. They are now using the survey results to help shape their 2019 plan.