The upcoming Arabian Business StartUp Academy, which takes place March 26 at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (DTEC), will feature an interview with the co-founder of regional e-commerce giant Souq.com, Ronaldo Mouchawar.
The workshop event, hosted at DTEC's Dubai Silicon Oasis' headquarters, will see Mouchawar share the importance of building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports and empowers start-ups in the region.
Souq.com, which was acquired by Jeff Bezos’ Amazon last year, is an important platform for start-ups in the GCC, acting as a marketplace that allows smaller companies to grow.
Mouchawar told Arabian Business in December that Souq needs start-ups as much as start-ups need Souq.
“As we grow, they grow. When we double in White Friday, they double in White Friday; it is their sale as much as it is our sale. We have seen our companies scale from 5 to 10 people, so the type of ecosystem around the thousands of merchants is what is also exciting,” he said.
The Startup Academy will also focus on the effect of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE. Neil Petch, chairman and founder of business management consultancy Virtuzone, will discuss what it means for the overall professionalisation of the entrepreneurial scene and the country’s working environment.
Mansoor Sarwar, regional technical director at accounting and business management software firm Sage Middle East, will share the best ways in which start ups can get accustomed to the new charge.
The workshop will also feature two panel discussions with Imad Hammad, co-founder of online car marketplace CarSwitch, Ibrahim Colak, co-founder of service provider mrUsta, Rami Shaar and Jad Halaoui, co-founders of laundry concept Washmen and Colin Omalley, finance and administration director at VirtuZone.
They will provide an in-depth look at VAT’s role in their respective industries, what it means for their companies and whether the market is strong enough to pass the tax onto the customers.
In addition, business and life coach Sophia Fromell will give a talk on how entrepreneurs can adjust to an ever changing business environment, particularly those who transitioned from the corporate world.
Entry to the Arabian Business StartUp Academy - which starts at 8.30am - is free for the public but registration is required.
The event serves as a hub for conversation on the region’s latest business opportunities, start-up disruptions, funding deals, legal and regulatory steps to follow and much more.
It features entrepreneurs, established SME leaders, government representatives and well-known investors, and acts as a networking and informative platform for the Middle East’s growing start-up community, offering advice and insights from key industry experts.
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