There is no doubt that a lack of entrepreneurial attitudes holds back development of startups, with a mentality that copies rather than innovates and drags down success to the lowest common denominator. The enabling environment in a person’s head is as important as the enabling environment created by policies, regulations, infrastructure and access to finance. To address these challenges and foster an entrepreneurial spirit, business incubators need to be effective role models and leaders, but this will only result if they are entrepreneurial themselves, as role models for their clients (whether students, academic staff or local community members) and with the confidence and resilience to go out and change their environments.
The world is desperate for innovative and versatile talent; so we are at AL-Ahliyya Amman University as we are also desperate to encourage entrepreneurial mentality among our clients. We believe that having that entrepreneurial mindset is a gate for our clients to become distinguished and successful throughout their entire career. Entrepreneurship is critical not only to benefit students, but also to serve society by creating jobs and driving economic growth.
AAU will support its students, staff, and local community members from the idea stage; it will also take in and successfully accelerate more mature ventures. We will build our own program from the ground up for an academic environment – we realize that our students may not be able to work full time on their venture from day one and we will set up our process and structure to accommodate this. AAUBI will provide co-working space, accelerators and other resources to students, AAU staff and local community members.
Dr. Anas Ratib AL-Soud
Director of Business Incubator – Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center