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INSEAD's Collaboration with Zayed University advances Learning and Development of Entrepreneurial Capacity in the UAE

Abu Dhabi — March 27, 2012 — INSEAD, the leading international business school hosted the INSEAD Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Day recently.  The full-day event served to contribute to the sustainable development of entrepreneurial capacity of citizens in the United Arab Emirates.  

INSEAD's Abu Dhabi Socio-Economic Research Team organized the entrepreneurship day to make a contribution to the sustainable development of  entrepreneurial capacity by focusing on three core topics: an academic paper development workshop to promote a thriving entrepreneurship research community in  the UAE, a session with the presentation  of entrepreneurship cases on Emirati entrepreneurs with learning content most relevant to  the UAE,  and a panel on entrepreneurship programs to exchange and discuss partnerships with educational institutions.

“INSEAD’s capacity to link theory and practice is an important resource in addressing shifting economic paradigms,” said Stephen Mezias, Academic Director of INSEAD Abu Dhabi. “We are pleased to work with Zayed University to help the UAE prepare for future economic transformation,” Mezias added.

The day's events began with a paper development workshop where faculty members from INSEAD, Zayed University and Abu Dhabi University presented and discussed their working papers on entrepreneurship. Presenters received extensive feedback from other scholars including Stephen J. Mezias, Academic Director of INSEAD Abu Dhabi. This workshop helped to further grow the research community of entrepreneurship scholars in the UAE.  

A clear highlight of the INSEAD Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Day came in the afternoon with the presentation of the entrepreneurship cases by students from the Zayed University, College of Business Sciences.  Under the supervision of faculty from INSEAD and Zayed University, the students developed these cases to focus on different stages of the entrepreneurial processes: the creation of a business idea and identification of an opportunity, the entrepreneurial mindset, setting up a business, growing the business, and expanding the business internationally.  Entrepreneurs for the project were identified from participants in the AKOUN workshop, sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, which also supported the project.

“Collaboration of academic institutions in the region is critical to advancing entrepreneurial capacity in the UAE”, remarked Dipak C. Jain, Dean of INSEAD. “The collaboration between Zayed University and INSEAD increases the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education and enhances the students’ competences to adopt entrepreneurial competencies,” added Jain. 

John Seybolt, Dean, College of Business Sciences, Zayed University, added, “With the UAE aiming at diversifying its economy, the entrepreneurship day presented an ideal opportunity for our students to contribute to the promotion of entrepreneurship education by developing these case studies".

Professors Victor Huang and Constance Van Horne of Zayed University discussed the importance of developing these cases on Emirati entrepreneurial role models, and Gillian St leger and Florian Schloderer from INSEAD discussed innovative approaches to make learning from the cases more effective with the use of new media. The afternoon session closed with the presentation of certificates of participation to the students by Deans Dipak C. Jain (INSEAD) and John Seybolt (College of Business Sciences, Zayed University).

The day concluded with a panel on best practice programs for entrepreneurial capacity development with speakers from the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, the AKOUN Workshop, the Dubai Start-Up Weekend, INJAZ UAE, AIDHA (Singapore), and My Finance Coach Foundation (Germany & Indonesia).

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings people, cultures and ideas from around the world together to change lives and to transform organisations.

With campuses in France (Europe), Singapore (Asia) and Abu Dhabi, INSEAD’s business education and research spans the globe. Our 141 renowned Faculty members from 35 countries inspire more than 1,000 degree participants annually in our MBA, Executive MBA and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 6,000 executives participate in INSEAD’s executive education programmes each year.

In North America, INSEAD participates in academic partnerships with the Wharton School; the Kellogg School of Management, and Johns Hopkins University, whilst in Asia, INSEAD partners with Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.  INSEAD is a founding partner in the multidisciplinary Sorbonne University created in 2012, and also partners with Fundação Dom Cabral in Brazil.

Around the world and over the decades, INSEAD continues to conduct cutting edge research and to innovate across all our programmes to provide business leaders with the knowledge and sensitivity to operate anywhere. These core values have enabled us to become truly "The Business School for the World."

More information about INSEAD can be found at


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Tel +971 2 651 5200

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Tel +33 1 60 71 2691

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