The Global Business Forum (GBF) series was initiated as part of Dubai Chamber's strategy of international expansion to position Dubai as the gateway to the world.
Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber: What we are trying to do is to celebrate the relationship, celebrate the information that we put together, by showcasing Dubai as a hub for emerging countries and a hub of big opportunities that exist all over the world.
Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman & CEO, DP World: We participate every year in the Global Business Forum. It's very important for us. Many decision makers and leaders attend from different regions to meet the decision makers and we can be closer to them. It gives us big advantages and opportunities.
The GBF Mentorship Programme aims to foster cross-border cooperation between start-ups and help participants expand their global presence.
Assia Riccio, Founder, Evolvin' Women: The Global Business Forum Mentorship Programme is a programme for entrepreneurs like myself who are at the beginning of the journey and that really need a network to really move forward and accelerate.
Nadim Habr, Founder & CEO, designhubz: The GBF Programme is a huge advantage to any start-up because it connects you to a subject matter expert that will help you grow your company.
In February 2019, 10 shortlisted startups participated in the first-ever Chamberthon which took place in Kigali, Rwanda.
Nadim Habr, Founder & CEO, designhubz: We were chosen to be the top 5.
Mohammed Alami, CEO & Co-Founder, Tuitify: To go to Africa to see what we can do there. So we've been to Rwanda.
Callie Dickens, CEO & Founder, SYMMETRY: The African Tech Summit in Kigali in February, that was a game changer for me and my business. It's fantastic to spend 3 days with the other entrepreneurs. You mastermind, you get to see the speakers on stage.
Mohammed Alami, CEO & Co-Founder, Tuitify: We met with start-ups, we met with investors, corporations.
Callie Dickens, CEO & Founder, SYMMETRY: It really helped me realize that there is an opportunity in Africa for the business. It was transformational for me.
Mohammed Alami, CEO & Co-Founder, Tuitify: Market are different and how to make it a success there is different according to the country. So we needed somebody and this somebody is the mentor that has been given to us by the Dubai Chamber.
The GBF Mentorship Programme pairs startup with mentors who can provide them with support, guidance, and expertise in growing their businesses overseas.
Callie Dickens, CEO & Founder, SYMMETRY: Mentors are so important. It's somebody who can make sure you're on the right path. It's somebody to hold you accountable as well as somebody who is on your team.
Assia Riccio, Founder, Evolvin' Women: It was an opportunity for us to really look at market access opportunities. That was essentially a full immersion, a real full immersion and a reality check.
The Dubai Chamber has made efforts to boost UAE-Africa trade ties by facilitating cooperation between businesses and investors.
Mohammed Alami, CEO & Co-Founder, Tuitify: For me it was obviously that we had to go to Africa. Why? First, because Africa is booming. Everything is happening. Everything that is gonna happen in the next 10-15 years will happen in Africa. Then we had the mentor. He helped us not only understand how our products can go to Africa but also how to make it more attractive, not only to our customers but also to investors.
Assia Riccio, Founder, Evolvin' Women: So you might not be sure to enter Africa. But when you do it through a mentoring program like the Global Business Forum Africa Mentorship Programme then you feel much more confident.
The Government of Dubai, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Callie Dickens, CEO & Founder, SYMMETRY: One of the things I love about Dubai is that it is so open to new ideas and people pursuing those. I think the fact that the GBF Africa this year is about scaling start-ups is evidence to that.
Assia Riccio, Founder, Evolvin' Women: So I've never experienced any other governments support start-up and emerging entrepreneurs as the government of Dubai.
Mohammed Alami, CEO & Co-Founder, Tuitify: If you see Dubai, you can do whatever you want. They give you tools to do whatever you want. They help you.
Assia Riccio, Founder, Evolvin' Women: The support they provide, the resources, the advice, the network they give us as entrepreneurs is something I've never seen before.
Mohammed Alami, CEO & Co-Founder, Tuitify: Dubai and more broadly the UAE is an amazing platform to create your company. You're in the center of the world, you can go anywhere. And this is what helped us expand like a spider web.