Starting up your own business can be a formidable task, but business students at Madinat Zayed and Ruwais Higher Colleges of Technology had the chance to find out what it was really like to be an entrepreneur, when they set up their own small businesses to run over the weekend in the City Mall, Madinat Zayed.
GASCO, the Municipality, City Mall and Al Dhafra Hospitality very kindly sponsored them, giving them a wonderful learning experience and building towards their futures in the Western Region.
There was a grand opening of the event, attended by Ali Al Hameli from GASCO and Mohamed Al Hameli from ADNOC, along with other local dignitaries and managers. The visitors then toured the Fun Festival, looking at the stalls, joining in the children’s activities, watching the films and sampling the moist cupcakes for sale.
Nial Farrell, Associate Director at the Western Region Colleges was very impressed. “This is just the first step, now the students have had the experience of running their own business, and all the different tasks involved, they need to think of ways they can make more money, setting up businesses to supply businesses. There are immense opportunities for young people at the moment in the Western Region,” he said.
It was an exciting weekend for the students, and the culmination of a lot of preparation and planning. They had to create a business plan, write letters and make phone calls, keep accounts and organise staff, as well as organise and create their merchandise and run their outlet over the weekend at the Mall.
“We had all the business theory, but it is nothing like actually doing it. This experience has helped us to understand what we have learnt in a whole new way. We were so nervous and uncertain beforehand, but it was such a positive and motivating experience that we didn’t want to stop. We want to go out there and start our own business right now,” said Dana, Hamda, Shamma, Alyazi and Sara from the Fun Festival team.
“We received a very good response from the community,” said Bakheeta, Mariam, Fatima, Bakheeta and Iman, management team, Fluffy Puffy Cupcakes.
“One lady came from the Khalifa Fund and took our information. She asked us to register with them so in the future if we wanted to open a business, we just needed to submit our business plan and it could be fully sponsored by them. One of the shopkeepers in the Mall came to give us his best wishes and congratulate us on our success. He said that just because of our business, they were having a huge number of visitors to the City Mall,” the team said.
“Finally we received great appreciation from the Executive Assistant at the City Mall who wanted us to continue our business there. We are pleased to tell you that on every day of our business, we sold out. We had actually started enjoying running it and it was a very sad moment for us to close. It was an amazing experience and great motivation to have our own business, hopefully soon in future,” they added.