Zain shows efforts to foster a thriving local entrepreneurship ecosystem

Kuwait: Zain announced his support for the Australian University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum, titled “Lead Your Future”. The event provided a unique space for the university’s students to showcase their creative ideas and innovative business projects, giving them access to the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Zain took part in the opening ceremony of the forum, attended by Professor Isam Zabalawi, President of the Australian University, Zain Kuwait Chief Corporate Affairs and Relations Officer Waleed Al Khashti, Manager of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center of the Australian University, Dr. Bashayer Al Khalifah, together with university officials and Zain Kuwait’s innovation and entrepreneurship team.

Zain’s support for this forum stems from his strong belief in the crucial role such platforms play in empowering young, ambitious minds and guiding them in shaping their own future. Encouraging young people to pursue their business ambitions gives them the confidence to enter the thriving local entrepreneurship ecosystem and bring their ideas to life, ultimately leading to profitable, sustainable startups.

During the forum, Zain presented his journey to support entrepreneurship, which started 14 years ago with his award-winning Zain Great Idea startup accelerator program. Since then, the program has helped accelerate hundreds of startups; many of them now own thriving businesses not only in the Kuwaiti market, but throughout the region. In the past 24 months alone, startups that joined ZGI have raised more than $17.6 million in investment.

Last year, ZGI was recognized with the E-Business Award from the prestigious Entrepreneur Middle East magazine. Zain’s program was awarded ‘Ecosystem Enabler of the Year’ in recognition of the company’s ever-growing efforts in accelerating the regional tech startup ecosystem and empowering entrepreneurs in Kuwait and the region.

Zain also strongly believes that innovation is at the core of any startup’s success, and without nurturing it, companies cannot truly grow. To this end, the company launched its Innovation Nation initiative, which includes all of Zain’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs, with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The initiative targets young people and entrepreneurs and aims to foster a digitally capable generation with the skills modern markets need. Thanks to Zain’s many fruitful collaborations with local, regional and international partners, Innovation Nation presented dozens of programs to upskill youth and prepare them for STEM careers and entrepreneurship pathways. To date, nearly 6,000 youth have benefited from this initiative.

Under this initiative, Zain signed partnerships with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and the Sabah Al Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity (SACGC) – a KFAS center, to increase digital literacy among the youth, stimulate creativity and innovation, and strengthen the local startup ecosystem. The partnerships also aim to accelerate capacity building, upskill national talent in the private sector, increase research and development in innovation, enable social enterprises and empower local entrepreneurs.

In addition, Zain and SACGC became the official Kuwaiti country partners of Beban, the regional reality TV show for entrepreneurs, and joined forces to include the participation of Kuwaiti entrepreneurs in the third season of the show, which aired in January 2024 take and make possible.