The HCT-Sharjah Colleges hosted their 7th Business Conference on March 24 at the Women’s campus.
Open to all HCT students, faculty, and staff, community partners and neighbouring universities, the gathering served as a platform for attendees to discuss the latest trends and initiatives in the fields of CSR, Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability. This year, four speakers from the private, public and non-profit sectors and academia were in attendance.
Dr. Grace Thomson, Chair of Business at SWC, welcomed the guests, sharing the social impact network of projects and cultivation of relationships with the community. First, Ms. Desiree O. Vlekken, CEO and Founder of 4getmenot.com, spoke about her journey as a social entrepreneur working with Alzheimer’s patients; a documentary on this was screened after the conference.
Mr. Faisal Ali Hassan Rashid, Director, Demand Side Management with Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, then discussed the UAE Government’s strategic vision with regard to sustainability management. Mr. Ammar Shams, Regional Head of Corporate Sustainability with HSBC, gave a powerful speech about the motivation for private sector to incorporate sustainability into their strategies and operations.
Finally, Mr. Khaled Al Ameri delivered an inspirational speech about the role of HCT students in shaping their own destiny.
A panel discussion followed with Susan Lancaster, faculty leader of ‘Make a Difference’ Club at Sharjah Colleges. It was moderated by Dr. Susan Busby and Huda Al Hadrami. There was an interactive element, with students participating via e-polling streaming.
A highlight of the conference was the student video competition, in which HCT-Sharjah students submitted proposals of viable social business ideas for CSR, Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability. This activity was integrated into the curriculum and complemented by a comprehensive business plan.
Participants this year benefitted from insights, from industry and community partners. This helps create awareness and inspires Emirati youth to develop and act with passion, doing something good for society by learning from best practices.