Wednesday, September 03, 2008

BBIC Mentors

Volunteering to help others doesn't just mean running the local Muscat junior football league or school car boot sale. Many people are able to use the knowledge and skills gained in their workplace to help others.

Abeer Al Jasim, is Head of Professional Qualifications at Knowledge Horizon and has worked in business education and training for over 10 years during which time she has learned a thing or two about setting up a small business. For the past few weeks she has been using her expertise to help the three finalists of this year’s TKM – Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition (BBIC) master the art of presentation.

Abeer has been mentoring the three finalists from Mezoon Environmental and Technical Services; Robotics and Embedded Systems; and 3D Cartoons all nominated to present their big business ideas at the BBIC final and award ceremony on 7 September at the Muscat Inter-Continental Hotel.

“I’ve found my work as a Business Mentor with the BBIC finalists extremely rewarding and it has taught me to stop thinking like an educator and see the challenges from another angle,” says Abeer. “It’s given me an opportunity to share the knowledge and skills which I have gained during my professional career with young people who are trying to start up in business on their own. I’d like to think my expertise will help the BBIC finalists succeed.”

Ibtisam Al Faruji, Head of Marketing at the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates and organizer of the BBIC says: “Having mentors like Abeer has meant a lot to the BBIC finalists. She’s offered the support that any new entrepreneur needs - namely solid advice, a sounding board for ideas but more importantly a shoulder to lean on.”

Supported by Ernst & Young, Sanad, Intilaaqah, NCR, Infocomm and Oman Economic Review, BBIC runs a series of start-up workshops each year aimed at addressing issues related to business plan writing. “Once we’ve evaluated the competition entries and selected the finalists they undergo presentation skills training, this is where Abeer has been particularly active. The mentors we involve in the workshops need to possess business expertise, patience, a non-judgemental manner and a strong rapport with young people. Abeer has all those qualities and we’re delighted to have her on board advising the finalists,” says Al Faruji.

“I’ve got a lot of personal and professional satisfaction from mentoring the three BBIC finalists. Indeed, it’s given me a chance to give something back to the local community, that’s important in my book,” smiles Al Jasim.

“The BBIC finalists like to have someone to bounce ideas off and guide them through the tricky task of presenting their ideas. Standing up on stage and delivering a five minute power pitch to a room full of strangers is no easy task,” says Al Faruji.

Blog contents copyright © 2006 PEIE