100 YOUNG OMANI ENTREPRENEURS START 5-WEEK IDEA CHALLENGE PROGRAMME

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AWJ Innovation launches entrepreneurship programme for 100 young Omanis as part of the third phase of the pioneering entrepreneurial development programme in frontier technology (.nxt) exclusively sponsored by Occidental Oman LLC. This 5-week programme aims to invest in the outputs of the .nxt programme until now and will run from June to July 2021. The Intensive five-week virtual training camp will develop 100 young Omani entrepreneurs and start-ups. The participants are divided into teams and will work on entrepreneurial ideas and their development towards a marketable feasible commercial project under the guidance of local and global mentors from diverse business backgrounds and sectors.

AWJ Innovation have worked with 1,200 participants since October 2020 who received intensive training in emerging technologies, soft and entrepreneurial skills through two phases. While the first phase introduced participants to emerging technologies, the second phase of the .nxt programme included 700 participants who chose one specialised learning path leading to professional certification as well as 10 intensive technology-related courses delivered via live webinars. The Entrepreneurship bootcamp programme is the final part of the .nxt programme for this year.

Dr Costas Chryssou who leads on the programme says “The entrepreneurial bootcamp programme is the culmination of an intensive year for the .nxt participants. We are excited to see that 90% of the final 100 entrepreneurs are female. We have seen a large proportion of women engage in the programme and it’s wonderful to see that they will be taking on the 5-week challenge, developing new ideas towards commercialisation”.

The .nxt entrepreneurial bootcamp programme also aims to provide training and enhance employment opportunities, in addition to creating investment opportunities to support marketable pioneering projects and ideas with potential support and investments from Oman Technology Fund (OTF) in the fields of technology and innovation.

Maryam Al Amri, founder and CEO of youth vision elaborates “The milestones of .nxt programme unfolds new horizons for Omani Youth, and Youth Vision is particularly proud to support in delivering the phases of this boot camp and being able to share its expertise into making this program a success, which will lead the participants to form their business team, develop and validate their business ideas with the support of local and international mentors”.

The participants will be informed of the opportunities available for the inputs of the industry and business ecosystem in the region and they will work to form their own business teams, which will help them to pitch for their business ideas in a period not exceeding 10 minutes in front of the panel of committees and investors. Based on the business idea and performance, the top three teams will be awarded cash prizes for specific tasks to be achieved, and in-kind support to further develop their ideas and bring them into reality.

Naomi Timperley from the University of Salford Business School who is delivering the entrepreneurial workshops says “This is a very exciting programme to be part of and I am looking forward to working with the participants over the next 5 weeks.”