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Celia de Anca, Director of the Centre for Diversity in Global Management, Instituto de Empresa
On 6-8 November at the Westin Hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Instituto de Empresa (IE) Business School, Madrid jointly with Effat College in Jeddah, developed an innovative international program to foster and promote entrepreneurship skills of Saudi Arabian Business Women.
47 women entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs successfully completed a three day program aimed at equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their local environment.
The sponsorship of the National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia enabled the participation of 15 female students from Effat College, Dar Al Hekma, and the College of Business Administration. Representatives from King Abdul Aziz University also attended. Women from the corporate world also participated in the programme representing international companies such as D.H.L., Xenel Group HR & Training Center, Jeddah United Sports, Abdul Latif Jameel Vocational Training Center, La Woman and Optics Company. Moreover, a group of well-known women entrepreneurs shared their experiences on how they initiated their careers as Saudi Women Entrepreneurs.
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The program was opened by Dr. Haifa Reda Jamal Al Lail Dean of Effat College, and Dr. Celia de Anca, Director of the Center for Diversity in Global Management at Instituto de Empresa Business School. Both representatives gave an overview of the main themes of the program. They also provided information regarding the collaboration between the two institutions in the framework of this first event, as well as in a series of future events that will take place in Jeddah and in Madrid.
After the opening of the seminar, three key areas were developed during the three days of sessions:
Entrepreneurship Skills: Professors, Ignacio de la Vega and Paz Ambrosy provided an overview of the mindsets, methods, and managerial activities that support the entrepreneurial process. The main theoretical tools for the entrepreneurship process were discussed in the local context of Jeddah so that participants could better understand how to adapt theoretical models into real business practices.
Women in Business Intl Best Practices: Professor Celia de Anca gave an overview of women leaders worldwide. Today’s international organizations are increasingly open to the idea that women can act as a catalyst for the organization’s capacity to innovate. Participants analyzed the local opportunities from women leaders and explored the options available for women, identifying areas for training and personal development as necessary tools to obtain the maximum benefits out of the existing opportunities.
Women in Business: The Local Environment: The third part of the program was dedicated to the local environment for women in business in Saudi Arabia: Prestigious guest speakers focused on the current environment in the Kingdom for business women, highlighting the opportunities available and the challenges ahead. The experts also expounded models of successful women from the region and some of the key factors of their success.

Guest Speakers included prestigious personalities globally recognized including;
– Dr. Walid Fitaihi, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive of the International Medical Center (IMC).
– Mr. Amr Khasshoggi, Chairman and CEO of Amkest Group, and executive manager of Global Gypsum Company Ltd (3g), and member of the Advisory Board of Effat College.
– Mrs. Nashwa Taher, Member of the Board of Directors of the Al Taher Group of Companies and Chairman of the Board of Real Estate, Al Hassaniyah Establishment.
– Dr. Basma Omair, Executive Director of Khadijah Bint Khuwailid Business Center at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and board member of the Social Economic Circle in the Makkah region.
– Eng. Mahmoud Al-Turkistani, Head of Community Services at National Commercial Bank.
– Mr. Ibrahim Ba Dawood, Director of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Services division.
– Dr. Ghazi Binzagr, Vice Chair of the International Relations Committee of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, Deputy Chairman of Arabian Stores Company and member of the Advisory Board of Effat College.
After completing the program, participants were invited to connect to the online Diversity Community at Instituto de Empresa Business School, where participants of the program in Jeddah, professors and other members of the IE community can further explore some of the issues tackled during the three day seminar.
“We were extremely impressed by the quality of the participants, their knowledge, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial talents and skills. We are convinced that their interaction in IE’s on line platform will greatly benefit the IE community as a whole”.
– Celia de Anca
“It was a privilege for Effat College to work with the talented team from Instituto de Empresa to be able to offer this program to the community of businesswomen in Saudi Arabia. We look forward to expanding this relationship in the future and to many more innovative initiatives that highlight the key role women play in the economic development of Saudi Arabia.”
-Haifa Jamal Al-Lail


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