Why we’re partnering to bring the first college of entrepreneurship to Saudi Arabia

Lockheed Martin’s investment in Saudi Arabia will directly support the country’s future entrepreneurs

Kara Schoeffling
Kara Schoeffling
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At Lockheed Martin, we know first-hand that thriving economies are the result of human capital, entrepreneurship and innovation. More than a century ago our company was created upon the very entrepreneurial spirit of two of our co-founders. The Lockheed brothers built what is now a global business employing over 125,000 people out of their own garage.

Today we are excited to contribute to this next chapter in the long-term economic success of the Kingdom and its citizens by supporting the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Our investment in the Prince Mohammed bin Salman School of Administration and Entrepreneurship, an elite educational institution at the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), will directly support the Kingdom’s future entrepreneurs: the men and women who will bring ‘Vision 2030’ to life through innovation and job creation.

Working with entrepreneurs across the Middle East, I’ve seen first-hand that business success doesn’t come easy. In order to flourish, entrepreneurs need an ecosystem of support to nurture ideas and drive innovation. This is why bringing "Vision 2030" to life requires investment in the Kingdom’s most valuable resource – the Saudi people—who will create the economy of the future.

By investing in and giving entrepreneurs tools to turn passion into profit, they can build businesses that solve future challenges, while creating local job opportunities and driving economic progress.

Education is the linchpin to a thriving economy. The College’s entrepreneurship education will be fueled by the unique academic rigor that has made Babson the No. 1 ranked school for entrepreneurship by US News & World Report for the past 20 years. More importantly, the training will provide a solid foundation to transform ideas into viable businesses.

We realize that advances that have a major impact on our society today in areas such as global security and technology can come from anywhere, but they are more likely to come from places where we invest in education

Kara Schoeffling

Entrepreneurial ecosystem

We see our contribution towards Saudi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as an integral part in the country’s long-term economic growth, and this is why we are proud to collaborate with the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation (MiSK), KAEC/Emaar, the Economic City, Babson Global and the Saudi Arabia Economic Offset Program to bring this College to the Kingdom.

As leaders in global science and engineering, we have a responsibility to support investment in educating the future innovators in these fields. We worked together with the Kingdom to support the vision behind this project over five years ago because we realize that innovation depends upon training entrepreneurs to succeed in today’s evolving and interconnected world economy.

Under the Kingdom’s Economic Offset Program, which supports the reinvestment of foreign business contracts in the local economy, our hope is that the College will not only serve the Saudi people but also serve as a model of the program’s benefits for both the Kingdom and companies doing business here.

We realize that advances that have a major impact on our society today in areas such as global security and technology can come from anywhere, but they are more likely to come from places where we invest in education and an ecosystem that allows ingenuity to thrive. And by supporting the future of the Kingdom’s entrepreneurs, we will also progress the future of our industry.

We applaud the dynamic vision for the Kingdom that will position Saudi Arabia as a global economic leader for decades to come, and we are committed to partnering with you to make that vision a reality.
Kara Schoeffling is the Head of Communications for Lockheed Martin in the Middle East. She has experience advising corporations, entrepreneurs, governments, and non-profits and holds a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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