Students at Zayed University have gained first-hand experience of the skills required to set up and develop their own businesses. The university\'s partnership with Insead business school has allowed six teams of students to directly study well-established ventures launched or managed by Emiratis in the UAE. Using local examples has a more profound impact on students, according to Dr Stephen J. Mezias, professor of entrepreneurship and family enterprise at Insead. \"Facilitating a comprehensive understanding of entrepreneurial activities and necessities is as important as funding it,\" Dr Mezias said. \"For example, it is necessary to invest sufficiently in the promotion of informal communication, particularly in very early stages. \"Bringing in stories of local efforts and success to inspire local entrepreneurs and improve entrepreneurship education will have a more effective direct impact on students than bringing professors from abroad to lecture them about entrepreneurial skills. \"This approach will help students understand important factors in a local context, and provide role models from their own culture and environment. \"It will also involve Emirati students in the research effort and build a network that links researchers, local support organisations, successful entrepreneurs and students. \"It will also leverage that network to enhance cultural support for entrepreneurship in the UAE.\" Emirati entrepreneurs, including Azza Al Qubaisi, Ali Al Saloom, Alia Al Mazroui, Qais Sedki, and Faisal Al Hammadi, were on hand to provide their expertise. Students learned about the challenges they encountered and how they overcame them in pursuit of success. Subjects covered included how to discover and identify new venture opportunities, how to assess a new venture concept and shape it into a viable project, how to manage their resources and reduce the risk of their ventures and how to build an organisation, not just pursue an opportunity. \"Students have learned how to research, write and present teaching case studies,\" said Constance Van Horne, assistant professor at the College of Business Sciences at Zayed University. \"They have developed a sense of ownership and have transferred from learners to teachers and how to best ‘teach\' entrepreneurship theory through developing practical examples.\" Al Hammadi, co-founder of Slices, was happy to have the opportunity to give back to the community. \"I wanted to help new entrepreneurs become successful,\" he told Gulf News. \"We owe the community and have to give back. One of the main challenges to entrepreneurship is that people are scared of failure so they prefer to work in governmental entity and have a secure job. \"I am keen to send a message to the new generation and help them change this idea that thwarts success and hinders any progress.\"