The Wharton Entrepreneurship and Family Business Research Centre @ CERT Opens in Abu Dhabi

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Abu Dhabi, November 1 – The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania opened the Wharton Entrepreneurship and Family Business Research Centre @ CERT with the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT), a preeminent private education provider in the Middle East. Wharton faculty will pursue research on entrepreneurship, innovation, family business practices and challenges of the region at this newly established Center. In addition, the Centre will publish an Arabic language version of Knowledge@Wharton, Wharton’s award-winning online business journal.

HE Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of Higher Colleges of Technology said in his address during the opening of the Centre, “this new and innovative research center, the first of its kind in our region, will forge broad-based collaborative programs among private business, colleges and universities, and federal and local governments, with the goal of strengthening entrepreneurship and family businesses in the UAE and the region.”

“This is a momentous occasion both for CERT and the Wharton School as we embark on a path toward the creation of new knowledge on topics relevant to the Middle East region and the entire world,” said Wharton Dean Thomas S. Robertson. “With the support of our faculty and alumni we are poised to learn much about entrepreneurship, innovation and family business in the Gulf and the broader Middle East region.”

Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the HCT, added, “Both the Wharton School and the HCT are equally committed to knowledge acquisition as well as effective dissemination of knowledge. The Knowledge@Wharton Arabic edition would be an effective and unique tool to serve this purpose.”

“The opening of this Centre illustrates the strong commitment to entrepreneurship and family business research Wharton and CERT are making,” said Professor Raphael (Raffi) Amit, the Robert B. Goergen Professor of Entrepreneurship and lead faculty member for Wharton’s engagement with CERT. “The insights we gain will have a broad and lasting impact on business leaders in the Mideast and worldwide.”

The Wharton Entrepreneurship and Family Business Research Centre @ CERT – Abu Dhabi.
Engaging faculty across many disciplines, the centre will pursue a broad array of research projects on innovation, entrepreneurship, and family business issues including managing succession, financing growth, valuation, governance and family office benchmarking among others.

The knowledge created through this partnership will be disseminated through Knowledge@Wharton, Arabic edition, which will be published every other week. This journal will connect the Middle East with the broader Knowledge@Wharton community of over 1.3 million business professionals worldwide.  

CERT-Wharton Business Plan Competition
For the first time in the Middle East, CERT in collaboration with the Wharton School, is launching the CERT-Wharton Business Plan Competition (Wharton BPC). The CERT-Wharton BPC is open to all students from academic institutions in the UAE. The CERT-Wharton BPC is structured in three phases to help teams develop their plans in both a collaborative and competitive environment.

  • Phase I students submit a business overview hoping to advance as one of the top 25 semi-finalists
  • Phase II is the semi-finals stage of the competition where the top 25 teams submit a full business plan and the “Great Eight” finalists are chosen.
  • Phase III is the Venture Finals stage where the “Great Eight” finalists present live for a chance at cash prizes.

The top eight finalists will share $50,000 in cash to jump start their businesses.

About the Wharton School, Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, the Wharton Global Family Alliance and Knowledge@Wharton Arabic Edition
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The school has more than 4,900 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of  85,000 graduates.

In 1973, the Wharton School became the first school to develop a fully integrated curriculum of entrepreneurial studies. Today Wharton, through Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, supports and seeds innovation and entrepreneurship globally through teaching, research and outreach to a range of organizations through its many programs, initiatives and research centers. At the same time, Wharton students and alumni are helping to build entrepreneurial enterprises around the world and impacting virtually every industry.

Since its formation in January 2004, through an agreement between the Wharton School and CCC Alliance, the Wharton Global Family Alliance (Wharton GFA) has become the knowledge leader in family business research focused on family businesses, primarily in the areas of governance, philanthropy, and wealth management. Wharton GFA focuses on rigorous scholarly research in combination with the practical experience of successful global families to highlight the social impact of families worldwide. Wharton GFA has a robust research agenda and a wide variety of outreach focused on a global audience.

Knowledge@Wharton is a free biweekly online resource that captures knowledge generated at the Wharton School and beyond through such channels as research papers, conferences, speakers, books, and interviews with faculty and other business experts on current business topics. The Knowledge@Wharton network – which includes Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Indian editions–has more than 1.3 million subscribers worldwide.

About Centre of Excellence for Applied Research & Training
The CERT Group of Companies began as the commercial arm of the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates, and has grown to be the largest private education provider in the Middle East. CERT is also the largest MENA (Middle East North Africa) investor in the discovery and commercialization of technology.

Since its creation in 1996, the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT) has been synonymous with quality in education, training, research, and socioeconomic progress. Over the years, CERT has helped thousands of professionals and companies meet their goals and achieve the next level in their development, and it is now the largest private education provider in the region. Included is an Executive MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship which features the best professors from leading institutions around the world.  CERT additionally, hosts the regions premiere biennial Global Entrepreneurship Conference where students throughout the GCC and regional entrepreneurs attend. The Conference features leading international thought leaders & entrepreneurs throughout the world.

For further information please contact:
Dean Hoke
Head of Marketing & Institutional Development,
CERT/Higher Colleges of Technology
Tel: +971 (0) 2 692-2716 or Mobile: +971 (0) 50 662-7637

Peter Winicov
Senior Associate Director,
Wharton Communications
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania