Edtech industry to reach $10 trillion by 2030, says SEF speaker
- Founder and CEO of Englease sheds light on the potential of decentralised education system
- Founders Circle panel discusses challenges and successes of being a business founder
- Importance of hard work, perseverance, and resilience in entrepreneurship highlighted
Sharjah, 17 December 2022
Dynamic conversations were central to the Tech Stage, one of the five zones of the ongoing Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) 2022. The annual event, held at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) on December 17 and 18, includes a range of activities such as keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking events. A unique opportunity for business aspirants and innovators to learn, grow, and succeed in today’s competitive business environment, it also features an innovation competition where startups and entrepreneurs can pitch their ideas and showcase their products and services.
In a session titled ‘The Future of Tech’, Omar Chihane, Founder and CEO of Englease, spoke about the structural aspects of tomorrow’s education. He began by noting the long history of education, dating back to the 6th century. “Despite the many advancements and changes in society, the model of education has remained largely unchanged. That is, until the Covid-19 pandemic forced the sudden shift to remote learning for millions of students around the world. This shift opened up the possibility for a decentralised education system, where students are not limited to physical classrooms and can access education from anywhere with an internet connection. It has also created opportunities for remote education, where students can learn at their own pace and schedule, with the support of a digital teacher.”
Chihane noted that there are still challenges to overcome in order to fully embrace the benefits of edtech. “One of the main challenges is the global teacher shortage, with an estimated 69 million more teachers needed to achieve universal basic education. Additionally, many governments around the world are reducing expenditure on education, making it difficult for schools to adopt new technologies and teaching methods,” he said.
Despite these challenges, Chihane believes that the future of education lies in the integration of technology, and specifically, learning with a digital teacher. “The education industry size today is USD 7 trillion and this is expected to rise upto USD 10 trillion by 2030. By embracing new technologies and teaching methods, we can create a more accessible, flexible, and inclusive education system for all students. With the convenience of online learning and the ability to spend full days virtually, students can receive a high-quality education without being limited by geography or time constraints,” he added.
Spirit of establishing business
At a later session on the Tech Stage titled ‘Founders Circle: Nailing the Customer Journey’, moderated by Shereen Abdulla, producer and presenter of Spark! Studios, spotlight was on the challenges and successes of being a ‘founder-entrepreneur’.
Marwan Char, Co-CEO of GCC at Kavak, stressed the importance of choosing a co-founder who can uplift and support you when the challenges of entrepreneurship become overwhelming. “The value of finding a mentor who has already navigated the challenges of starting a business must never be undermined. It is as important as selecting a profitable business model and executing it with confidence to ensure sustainability and profitability,” he said.
Abdulaziz Al Loughani, Chairman and CEO of Floward, discussed the importance of attracting the right talents to your business. “If you can’t describe your business model eloquently, then it’s something you need to work on. Do conduct thorough market research and crystallise your vision in order to create a competitive advantage,” he advised aspiring attendees.
Throughout the session, both speakers emphasised the importance of hard work, perseverance, and resilience in the face of the challenges that come with entrepreneurship. They also shared their own experiences and offered valuable insights and advice to the attendees.