|08 October, 2019

H.R.H. Prince Andrew lauds Khalifa Fund's successful experience in supporting entrepreneurship and promoting traditional Emirati handicrafts

We are proud of our many achievements, with activities extending out to more than 20 countries worldwide, says KFED Chairman Al Nowais

H.R.H. Prince Andrew lauds Khalifa Fund's successful experience in supporting entrepreneurship and promoting traditional Emirati handicrafts

Abu Dhabi: His Excellency (H.E.) Hussain Jassim Al Nowais, Chairman, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), welcomed the visit of His Royal Highness (H.R.H.) Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Founder of the Pitch@Palace initiative, to the Fund's headquarters today (08 October 2019) in Abu Dhabi. During his visit, H.R.H. Prince Andrew was briefed on KFED's successful experience in instilling and promoting a culture of entrepreneurship across today's generation of young Emiratis and its continuing move to support the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE, including its Sougha program, which is aimed towards supporting the creation of local Emirati handicrafts.

In response, H.R.H. Prince Andrew lauded KFED's rich and successful experience in supporting entrepreneurship and promoting a culture of innovation locally and internationally. He cited the Fund's continuing efforts to contribute in the unified efforts aimed at supporting entrepreneurship and youth empowerment, not only in the UAE but also across the rest of the world.

He also praised the strong partnership that the KFED has maintained with the Pitch@Palace initiative and commended the Fund for its advanced capabilities, rich resources and highly skilled personnel, which are important drivers in spreading the spirit of leadership and promoting a culture of creativity among today's youth.

H.R.H. Prince Andrew is currently in Abu Dhabi to take part in the closing ceremony of the third edition of the Pitch@Palace UAE edition, which will take place tomorrow (09 October 2019) at the Emirates Palace Hotel.

Meanwhile, H.E. Al Nowais shared that the KFED has achieved many achievements, including its success in increasing the importance of entrepreneurship across today's younger generation of Emiratis, encouraging them to innovate and come up with new and creative ideas that can help drive in more growth for the local SME sector.

Al Nowais pointed out that KFED has helped in fulfilling the financing, technical and training needs of local entrepreneurs, resulting in them being able to start their promising and full of potential projects. To date, the KFED has funded more than 1,600 projects spanning across various sectors in the UAE.

He also said that under the direction and guidance of His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the KFED has been able to share its knowledge and experience with other countries, including the provision of key funding and technical support to 20 countries in the Europe, Asia and Africa regions

Al Nowais explained that the Fund is fully determined in supporting and promoting a culture of entrepreneurship while also helping to create an appropriate environment needed in unleashing the creative capabilities of the youth, enabling and empowering them to contribute to economic and social stability in the UAE and in countries benefitting from KFED's funding and supporting initiatives.

During the visit, Mouza Al Nasri, Acting Chief Executive Officer, KFED, briefed H.R.H. Prince Andrew on the aims and objectives of the Fund, explaining that the KFED provides integrated and comprehensive programs that meet the needs and requirements of entrepreneurs seeking to establish or expand their investment activity, including training, development, profession rehabilitation,  provision of data and consulting services and the development of marketing based initiatives. She also shared that the Fund has approved to finance over 1,600 projects, falling in line with the Fund's efforts towards social development.

Aisha Al Yousif, General Manager of Sougha Establishment, was also present at the visit and spoke about the establishment's programs, which are aimed towards reviving UAE's rich culture and heritage. The move helps enable local craftspeople into turning their talents and crafts into a viable source of income. She pointed out that Sougha works tirelessly in the move to promote and spread a culture of entrepreneurship in the UAE, taking special attention towards encouraging the use of innovation in the handicrafts segment.

H.R.H. Prince Andrew was later accompanied by Al Nowais and several KFED senior officials in viewing and inspecting some of the products being created by the Sougha Establishment. H.R.H. expressed how impressed he was at the world class quality of the products and their craftmanship.

Organizers of the Pitch@Palace global initiative have selected the KFED as their strategic partner for the Arabian Gulf editions of the competition. The Pitch@Palace UAE is the Emirati version of an international competition launched by the Duke of York, H.R.H. Prince Andrew in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2014. The competition is aimed at enabling qualified entrepreneurs and owners of innovative enterprises to showcase their projects and their needs, whether financial, marketing or management, development and other projects, at St James's Palace in the UK in front of a set of businessmen and CEOs of prestigious companies to have the opportunity of supporting and developing their projects.

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