KUWAIT: Zain, the leading digital service provider in Kuwait, took part in the International virtual Conference on Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (ICICEE 2020). The event, held over video conferencing technology, was organized by Ecosystem Consultants during 19-20 November under the patronage of Minister of Finance Barrak Al Sheetan.

The event's program witnessed wide participation from over 80 global experts, government officials, scientists, academics, and finance institutions, who all exchanged successful applications and future visions related to innovation, management, technology, and entrepreneurship.

The event created a great opportunity for Zain to showcase its future strategic direction in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship, which goes in line with the 'New Kuwait' vision. The discussion panels focused on enriching the innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship setting by developing infrastructures that center around these three aspects. Participants also called for the importance of engaging the local community in creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial activities, as well as supporting the professional community by sustaining smart growth via technology, collaboration, education, and other socio-economic strategies.

During his participation in the conference as a main speaker, Zain Kuwait's Chief Corporate Communications and Relations Officer Waleed Al-Khashti said: "I am honored to take part in this event that gathers many leaders, experts, and academics from many sectors. Without a doubt, the discussions and ideas presented in this conference offer a clear picture of the upcoming stage through which government entities and the private sector will both prepare their administrative and operational infrastructures to transform along with the tech wave and the new directions of the business sector."

Khashti added: "We all know that innovation is one of those terms that witnessed high popularity in recent times. This is not just because such a term does not create business opportunities or the ability to create new markets, but because it directly contributes to sustainable development plans. This has led countries and major organizations to harness the potential of innovation as a means to enrich the position and competitiveness of their markets."

He continued: "For this, many governments, including the government of Kuwait, sought to create a supportive atmosphere for private sector organizations, because they are capable of delivering innovation. If we are in need of more than mere ideas or a vision to create our future, then, in this case, we must contribute to spreading the culture of innovation within the business world".

Khashti explained that success stories in the world of ICT reveal that early investments makes it easier to justify each and every investment later. If one does not make the first bet, it will be difficult to keep up with what comes later. Large corporations are now aware, especially in light of the current digital transformations, that they are in need of taking care of the intellectual models that govern the business world.

Khashti went on to explain: "From this point comes change and response to innovation, as innovation is the new headline for the journey of growth within communities. As our Kuwaiti society is a young one, where the youth make up the biggest share (around 72 percent of the total), and because these young people have so many ideas, visions, and aspirations, then these ideas should surely be implemented. For this, we believe that the youth need organizations that believe in their potential and capabilities, as well as support them in implementing and executing these ideas in the real world".

Zain is one of the leading organizations that actively adopted young entrepreneurs, as the company believes in the capabilities and potential of the youth, and in the ideas and innovations they have to offer. This is especially true after the active move witnessed by the Kuwaiti and regional markets towards initiatives and experiences in the digital space.

Because Zain relies, as part of its strategy, on addressing the youth's issues by investing in the future, the company has launched the Zain Innovation Center (ZINC), which is a leading incubator for entrepreneurs in Kuwait. This center aims at supporting and empowering the youth and their capabilities, as well as opening up new horizons for startups.

ZINC represents an incubator for the youth's innovations, and currently encourages exceptional minds to think in an interactive environment, offers a modern and innovative workplace, presents a proper work environment for those who have aspiring ideas and visions, as well as develops and progresses ideas into real projects that can be executed and implemented.

For Zain, ZINC represents the prominent face of this stage. Ideas are always affected by the care they receive, and if global markets look for smart ideas, then private sector organizations in Kuwait are insistently heading towards these areas as well. For this, Zain believes that launching incubators will help discover new ideas and raise new innovations.

The idea behind launching the Zain Innovation Center (ZINC) came as a continuation of Zain's journey that started with entrepreneurs and remarkable people who own bright ideas, and began with the Zain Great Idea accelerator program, which currently continues within the tech and digital sectors.

Khashti further explained: "We believe that innovative ideas are in need of care in order to achieve their goals. For this, Zain's management invited its employees who possess bright ideas to come forward with them, where they get evaluated and considered for support. In fact, we have received tens of ideas from our own employees, and have went on to support many of them. Now, we have the Zain Innovation Center that adopts these ideas within a healthy environment, nurturing them and giving them the space to grow and go on to become successful businesses."

He added: "The company's management always encourages employees to embrace the spirit of innovation and creativity. We have always offered the proper environment for our employees to adopt their ideas, and we were keen on dedicating an hour per day to join our staff and entrepreneurs together to discuss ideas.

Insisting on contributing to a better future should be inclusive and dynamic, and should come in a way that helps people to grow and live prosperously. This will always be at the core of our priorities, and Zain will always implement its strategies in a way that centers around innovation. A generation of innovative idea owners will represent one of the greatest differences between communities that step forward into the future."

Zain is well aware of the crucial role played by private sector organizations in supporting social and economic sustainability projects. Springing from its growing commitment towards practicing its social responsibility, the company is committed to printing a positive value through all its activities. This has led Zain to embrace the most influential issues in the community, including the support of youth, entrepreneurship, and innovation.