850 future entrepreneurs graduate in Riyadh

415As part of its ongoing commitment to support the development of youth in Saudi Arabia, Shell, together with the British Council and The Riyadh Chamber of Commerce today hosted the 2014 Intilaaqah Graduation Ceremony for Entrepreneurs at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre. His Excellency, Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SABIC was the patron of the event. The event attracted over a thousand people including established entrepreneurs, graduate entrepreneurs and leaders in business and finance.

The event showcased networking cafes manned by future e-commerce business leaders to highlight entrepreneurial ideas fostered through the Intilaaqah programme. Focused on encouraging the youth to become entrepreneurs and launch their own businesses, the Intilaaqah programme aims to provide training, education, business support mentoring and create networking opportunities between new entrepreneurs, existing business owners and prospective investors.

“I am so proud of each and every graduate today, for taking very brave steps that will benefit them and society in general. I am delighted that we in Shell have the opportunity to deliver our Small, Medium, Enterprise training programme and that it has proved so successful in the Kingdom. Our partners in the British Council and the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce have been invaluable in taking the programme to where it is today”, said Patrick Van Daele Vice President and Country Chairman of Shell in Saudi Arabia.

First launched in the UK in 1982 to address youth unemployment, the Shell LiveWIRE Programme is now running in more than 20 countries worldwide. One of its most successful activities is Intilaaqah, a social investment programme developed by LiveWIRE for youth in the Middle East. Translated into English as “Take Off”, Intilaaqah aims to help young people around the Middle East explore the option of starting their own business as a viable career, and provides support and guidance to young entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs.

Whilst every programme shares common themes, each is unique in its approach and tailored to its host country’s own mix of opportunities, culture and situation. Since the launch of Intilaaqah in Saudi Arabia in 2009, over 7,000 Saudi male and female trainees from eight major cities across the Kingdom have graduated from the programme.

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