Investing in tomorrow

The fourth edition of Muscat Youth Summit offered an extraordinary opportunity for talented youth in the country to come together and learn how to channel their passion into opportunities for future. An OER report.

As many as 200 students returned to their schools, colleges and universities with new inspiration and an insight into industry and entrepreneurship as Muscat Youth Summit 2012 concluded. Over the course of the four day residential programme, participants from 26 countries attended interactive workshops and community projects that stirred their imaginations and opened their eyes to new career possibilities.

HH Sayyid Faisal Al Said, chairperson of the Muscat Youth Summit organising committee, emphasised the Summit’s role as a key facilitator in developing the next generation of business owners and community leaders. He said, “The Summit is an important platform for developing the youth of Oman by means of promoting innovation and enterprise.

It also provides a unique opportunity for participants to meet entrepreneurs who have turned ideas into successful businesses.”
He added, “With such a young population, creating commercial opportunities is key to ensuring Oman’s long-term and sustainable economic growth. Through the Muscat Youth Summit, we were able to expose participants to emerging business trends and open their eyes to new ideas in areas such as energy, health, transportation, media, entertainment and tourism.”

Promoting entrepreneurial skills
The first day of the summit focused on the main approaches to promoting entrepreneurial skills. Participants learned how to develop their idea and the basics of creating and running a startup business, managing their resources and premises, and gain experiential advice from professional mentors. The second day of the summit highlighted on equipping the students with new potential business ideas through a series of interactive workshops that inspired and challenged their creativity.

Focusing on growing industries such as fashion and small batch manufacturing as well as social and virtual initiatives to promote road safety, students enjoyed a hands-on approach to identifying market trends, high growth businesses and how technology can benefit their entrepreneurial activities.

The third day of the summit saw the culmination of innovation, imagination and inspiration as students exhibited their work after two days of interactive workshops that ignited their creative spark. Sessions focusing on social enterprise, urban art, road traffic safety and the fashion industry explored small business production and how to utilise technology in concept identification and delivery of entrepreneurial projects.

Learning more about safer road design and how to create a non-motorised community, students visited The Wave Muscat, to speak with residents and assess the infrastructure and environment as part of the workshop entitled ‘Safe Streets: Share The Road’. Aimed at developing mutual respect between all road users, students submitted an action plan with targets and timelines for a pilot programme to encourage cycling and walking as alternative modes of transportation in Muscat.

Journalism training
Students also learnt the fundamentals of journalism as they produced their own magazine. Beginning with the idea and target audiences, the groups created enticing headlines and attractive page layouts as well as established a business plan and potential advertisers to make the magazine a success. Mentored by publishing professionals from the UK’s leading youth magazine, ‘Live Magazine’, participants were given an insight into how to manage a leading publication as they worked together to develop the content for the MYS 2012 magazine and social networks.

Organised by the Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (PAIPED), the Summit’s workshops helped instill confidence, nurture critical life-skills and highlighted the diverse talents required to succeed. To that end, students learned how to fine-tune a business concept, develop a business plan, build a network of contacts, partner with investors and market their idea.

The summit came to an end as participants and organisers joined hands in the spruced-up Al Mussanah Public Park. Commenting on his participation in the 2012 Summit, Ahmed Al Busaidy, a student from the Higher College of Technology said, “The knowledge and friendships I gained over the four days of the summit will remain with me for the rest of my life. I realise now the responsibility I have towards my country and have a clear idea of what I want to do with my future.”

The Muscat Youth Summit 2012 was supported by the Diwan of the Royal Court; Ministry of Education; UNESCO; Oman National Commission for Education Culture and Science; The National Youth Committee; The Young Foundation; OMIFCO; Nawras; Khimji Ramdas; Oman Air; Omran; Qalhat LNG; The Oman Observer; Oman; Merge104.8; Al Wisal FM; Millennium Resort Mussanah; and the Grand Mall Muscat.

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