Venture Capital Lessons from India, Lebanon and Ireland

In a recent article I pointed out the failure points in the UAE’s venture capital ecosystem, in particular the lack of support for entrepreneurs and start-ups. In this article I’d like to review some of the initiatives other countries have launched that could be useful in upgrading our ecosystem. Given the recent visit to India of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince

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The Family Business: Strategic Growth Ideas

The family business invariably grows from a single operating company. As the original business grows and matures, throwing off tremendous amounts of cash, the question becomes: what next? There seems to be three main strategic ideas: 1. Grow the same business geographically, 2. Financial investment programs or 3. Enter into new businesses locally. These strategies are not mutually exclusive.

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State-owned enterprises can learn from family businesses

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are controlled subsidiaries of a government which undertake commercial activities. SOEs are globally common and are involved in a wide variety of activities such as mail services, telecommunications, airlines, airports, railroads, natural resources, broadcasting and healthcare. Sometimes it is easy to forget that SOEs form an important component of the economy. Just think of the UK’s BBC,

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The Challenges of Generational Change in a Family Business

Andrew Carnegie, an incredibly successful American businessman, famously said “Three generations from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves.” Here, shirtsleeves mean the clothing of a (poor) blue collar worker. This is probably the origin for the more modern day warning “The first generation builds it, the second generation enjoys it, the third generation loses it.” In the GCC a quick and informal survey

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The Family Holding Company: More Than Just A Legal Structure

عربي With generational change increasing, the idea of institutionalising family businesses has gained wide spread acceptance. The magic formula seems to be create a holding company to hold the shares of the operating companies, a shareholder agreement, a terms of reference for the board and maybe add some independent directors to the board. Focussing on the holding company aspect, there

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Family Business: Acknowledging Core Challenges

عربي Family businesses have been the private sector economic foundation of the GCC. Their financial strength and contribution to national GDP is obvious. Their challenges, however, are usually private, hidden behind a family wall of silence. True, there have been a few public blow ups, but everything else is discreet. This is a shame, as these wonderfully successful family businesses

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