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Monday, January 12, 2004

Entrepreneurship Conference

Queen Rania participates in an interactive dialogue session at the Entrepreneurship Jordan Conference

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Dead Sea) For a country going through the process of comprehensive development, entrepreneurship for Jordan is crucial, as it not only requires changing mindsets but also investing in ideas and creating opportunities.

That was the chord struck by around 80 students taking part in the Youth Session Program “Inspire Them While They Are Young” where participants seated in a casual setting got a surprise participant when Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah dropped in to take part in the interactive dialogue.

At the session, part of the Entrepreneurship Jordan Conference which opened at the Dead Sea on Jan. 10, Queen Rania noted: “Jordan is now at a turning point with a new vision that requires the much needed spirit of initiative, progressiveness and participation of all, especially the youth.”

Interacting with students in the discussion, Queen Rania stressed that modern leadership and entrepreneurship requires courage in overcoming societal restricitons and changing traditional mindsets.

Entrepreneurship Jordan Conference, held under the Patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II, is organized by the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA), bringing together Jordanian and regional decision-makers with leading world figures in academia and business, to discuss changing the environment, conditions and responsibilities that need to be put in place in order for Jordan to flourish as a hub for entrepreneurialism.

Noting that entrepreneurship is a key factor in economic growth, Queen Rania, explored with the youth the topic of initiative and creativity underlining “entrepreneurship requires leadership qualities… exemplary leadership is one that is based on a participatory approach, providing the means to empower others and making decisions based on the benefit for all.”

The youth session of the conference which aims to motivate Jordanian youth and instill a sense of responsibility and initiative, included 75 students from INJAZ and 5 from Ministry of Planning’s King Abdullah II Fund for Development. Panel participants were Entrepreneurs Fadi Ghandour, Lina and Khalil Burgan (representing family enterprise), Ramzi Halaby (26 years old grass-root entrepreneur), and Dr. Anwar Battikhi (Previous President of Hashemiya University).

INJAZ is the country’s first initiative aimed at building the skills of Jordan’s future workforce to help the economy compete globally. It was launched as a Jordanian non-profit organization by Queen Rania in 2001.

With over 60% of the Jordanian population under the age of 25, Queen Rania is active in promoting a better understanding of the needs of young people and the means to address them, supporting initiatives to promote communication and dialogue among young people and with the nation’s decision-makers saying “youth are the tools of change and we must reap the benefits of their contributions.”

In his Speech From the Throne opening the 14th Parliament in December, King Abdullah outlined the foundations and mechanisms for comprehensive development, which include involving all in the development process, especially youth.

“The aspired-for change will come about only through stimulating Jordanian youth and listening to their views, for they are the pillars of the future and the substance of change. Consequently, their role should be enhanced, job opportunities should be made available to them, and their hopes and aspirations should be realized,” the King told Parliamentarians.

Entrepreneurship Jordan Conference, a unique participatory event, allowed for a dynamic dialogue process among entrepreneurs and policy makers, by discussing entrepreneurial needs, concerns and aspirations to come up with a national action plan for entrepreneurship in Jordan.

During the three-day conference, participants discussed creating the proper environment for entrepreneurship, introducing entrepreneurship in the education, women’s participation in economic activity, proactive policies in creating an attractive entrepreneurship climate, the role of NGO’s in entrepreneurship as well as creativity and innovation.