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tv   Talking Business  BBC News  November 17, 2018 4:30pm-5:01pm GMT

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they were cartoons that forever changed the entertainment landscape. some silent film comedians, when animation started to be popular, said things like, like charlie chaplin said, how can we even compete? they don't even have to stop to take a breath. and they don't! you know, an animation character can literally do anything that you can make physically believable. and i think mickey is the embodiment of that. the first mickey mouse comic strips were published in the early 1930s and they were drawn at this desk by the legendary animator floyd gottfredson. this is one of his original pens and there is certainly a lot of history here. mickey mouse is far from history, at 90 he is still alive and well on the screen and at disney theme parks around the world. mickey is real. there is only one mickey. mickey is the easiest guy to work with, i am glad he is my boss. it takes you back to watching cartoons on saturday mornings and mickey mouse was always the cartoon. mickey mouse has evolved over the years, he is still that
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classic character that brings happy memories. for a company built on the image and fortunes of a mouse, the cartoon character is an invaluable asset. mickey is a mouse of many talents, he is the company mascot and here at disneyland he has taken part in countless parades and ceremonies over the past 60 plus years, but one of his main jobs is to pose for photographs, isn't it? let's do it. good job. you are not looking your age. you are looking pretty good. the timeless allure of mickey mouse. peter bowes, bbc news, los angeles. surfers from around the world have been taking on huge waves at nazare in portugal. south african surfer grant twiggy baker took the title in the world surf league's big wave tour. he played it safe during the opening rounds and peaked atjust the right time to catch this massive 40ft wave, riding it to victory.
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cool dude! now it's time for a look at the weather with nick miller. if you didn't see the sunshine today, you are more lucky to see it tomorrow before it turns cloudier and colder. this evening and into tonight, it is still dry and clear. there are still some areas that will have some cloud. the cloud will clear in northern ireland. south—easterly breeze means that temperatures will fall as far as they would, but still close to freezing in some spots, so you could make up to some frost in the morning. you're more likely to wa ke the morning. you're more likely to wake up to a sunny start and it will stay that way doing the day. still some cloud in eastern scotland and far north—east of england. a south—easterly breeze. temperature
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is around 9—12 degrees. the breeze is around 9—12 degrees. the breeze is noticeable, it will get stronger into next week. that means these temperatures are the last we will see of double figures, why the single fingers next week and feeling colder in the wind. hello this is bbc news with lu kwesa burak. the headlines: five ministers in theresa may's cabinetjoin forces to try and persuade her to make changes to the draft brexit agreement. other ministers voice their support for the prime minister. the number of people missing in california's wildfires has now risen to more than 1000. 71 people are known to have died. according to reports in us media, the cia believes the saudi crown prince ordered the murder of the journalist jamal khashoggi. the broadcaster, writer and former newsreader, richard baker, has died at the age of 93.
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in rugby — england have made a come—back and are beating japan at twickenham. and wales won against tonga in cardiff. we'll bring you all the results, live, across the afternoon. now on bbc news, talking business looks at entrepreneurship and the small and medium business scene in dubai and the united arab emirates. welcome to dubai — home of sunny beaches, big buildings, and even bigger investment. but what about the small and medium—sized businesses? in recent years, this place has transformed itself into something of a silicon oasis, kick—starting many of its local start—ups to international success. but does it have the entrepreneurial dynamism to be a start—up capital for the 21st—century? i'm here to find out. welcome to talking business,
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i'm paul blake. now how's this for a fact — small businesses employ more than half of dubai's workers and account for nearly half of the emirate‘s economy. and some of those small businesses can very quickly become a big businesses. just look at careem — the right hailing service, which is now valued at more than $1 billion. 0r souk — which was recently acquired by amazon. many more have gone on to be powerhouses here in the middle east. many small businesses play a vital part in the region's economy, even without reaching those dizzying heights. i went on a tour of the city to find out about one of them. could this be the future of travel content and advertising in the middle east?
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insydo produces a mix of editorial videos and advertising, showcasing their picks for the best experiences in dubai. i've been in dubai now for over seven years. ifirst moved here from london, with the dreams of setting up my own business. and having a city full of so many little gems was a great way to explore the city and actually become an entrepreneur. the atlantis is one of my favourite places in dubai. sites like these make for good content, but also attract millions of tourists and foreign workers alike. something like 92% of dubai's population are expatriates. let's take a quick picture and we'll look around elsewhere. so, this is the insydo office. this woman is the brain behind this operation. i started by asking her how her business model works. insydo is a platform where you get recommendations. 90% of those recommendations are not advertising, they are unpaid. so we actually hunt using data
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by site visits and so on, the best places in the city. what we do to monetise ourselves is work with brands to turn theircampaign objectives into content. in four years, insydo has grown to around 15 staff. butt getting the company to this level wasn't always easy. finding funding was a bit of a challenge. there isn't really a pool of venture capitalists of venture capitalists who specialise in media, so we had to look elsewhere and look for investors who could give us the strategic support as well as the financial. so that was something that was quite limited. so help me get orientated here. that's the marina just over there? yes, that's the marina. and this is the famous palm jumeirah, and the different. and over there is the burj al arab, and big landmark. and the burj khalifa, the tallest building in the world, which is surrounded by the financial district. so do you think you will end up staying here for the rest of your life? well i have two businesses here, so,
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yeah, definitely for the long—term. now that was one woman's story of building a business in dubai. now i am here in the heart of the city's financial district, at the al grissino restaurant with a group that can give us a few different perspectives on running a small business in dubai. i have the co—founder and chief marketing officer for fetcher, a delivery app that allows users in the region to ship most anything, using the precision of the gps in your mobile phone. founded here in the uae in 2012, the company now employs some 5000 people, operating in several countries around the region. i also have the managing partner at beco capital, a leading early—stage venture capitalfirm based here in dubai, that provides capital and mentorship to tech companies in the region. and, if you want to start a business here in dubai, maybe your first call should be to this lady, she is the entrepreneurship manager of the dubai chamber of commerce,
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and she has helped dozens of businesses get on their feet here in emirate. welcome to you all. thank you for having us. so guys, we'll start with a rather easy one, how did all of you guys and in dubai? what brought you here? me first? yeah. so what brought me to dubai? so i am a serial entrepreneur, i sold my first company in silicon valley, and there were a group of new entrepreneurs from the middle east who were coming to silicon valley looking forfunding. and i met my partner there and we were talking about an issue that we both had, which was solving the problem of no addresses in emerging markets. so everybody gets packages, basically getting a series of really annoying phone calls saying, where do you live? where is your house? and half the world has no addresses, so it is a serious problem. and it is exciting, because we are trying to solve that problem. fantastic. how did you end up in dubai? so my parents, my father and his brothers moved here in the late 605, early 705.
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i grew up most of my childhood in divide, studied in high school here, then i went to university in the uk to do computer science. then while i was there, i learned about venture. so i decided, after spending time in a corporate vc in london, to take that skill and come back to dubai and invest in the ecosystem here. i helped companies on strategy and finance with my own business, before teaming up with my cousin who had built the biggest job site in the region. and we are investors in fetcher as well. so we believe in the proposition and the problem they are solving, as well as a host of other exciting companies coming out of dubai and the wider region. perfect. and how did you end up in dubai? i'll probably tell you a more corporate story. my very first trip experience was with the chamber of commerce in germany. and then who would expect that
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i end up in dubai working and building the new department, with a new team of this organisation, to grow tech companies here in dubai. right now, we have the team within the organisation who promote dubai to be an attractive place for tech ventures around the world and here. why would someone start a country in dubai? —— a company. what are the advantages, what are the business opportunities here in dubai? they have more infrastructure here. and many other place in the middle east will stop that is the basis of why we are here. we knew that we would possibly get the support of the government, because dubai is all about innovation and getting the best of everything, so we knew that with that kind of energy and voice, they are constantly speaking about wanting to be the best, the best protect, the best for entrepreneurs, the best buildings, the best service, we knew that if we brought it here, we felt that we would get the support of the dubai government, because that is their vision as well. dubai is doing a good job of being entrepreneurial and how it is restructuring its policies,
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so whether it is getting an entrepreneur visa and reducing the cost of setting up a company, thatt is stepping stones to something much bigger. i think governments in other part of the region replicate that model, so it is setting the standard for the wider middle east. you have certainly seen other markets here in the middle east structure trying to liberalise. saudi arabia has big ambitions for the next few years. does dubai stand to potentially lose out, to lose some of the competitive edge? not really, if you ask people, most of the companies reinvest in have a regional expansion plan. so when we give dollars to a company, a lot of that, let's say one third, goes toward saudi arabia anyway, from an investment perspective. so it is a regional thing. it's a springboard, almost? yes, but all the countries are interconnected. intertwined, correct. what he is saying, sorry, he is absolutely correct. you have to attract talent, because when you are doing all these start—ups,
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the number one think if the people, the people make the company. dubai allows you an opportunity that can attract talent, because the city itself is so international. both of you probably started your businesses a little earlier, before the vibrant ecosystem for incubators accelerators came in from the ground. right now, we have dozens of incubators, industry specific, and accelerators, who provide not only physical space, office space, the network, and even site funding and some support, but also, serving as a launch pad for international expansion. when you are advising companies who may be moving from start—up to small and medium—sized business level, what is the secret to scaling in a place like this? what is the secret... maybe you don't want to give that away on television! i think the way we look at it, we need to really spend time investing and finding out which ones
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will be scalable. when we say that, we mean hyper growth, regional expansion... those are rare. it could be tackling a huge problem that has a large market, or it could be the property finder in this case. a few of the other companies are attacking related problems that allow for the growth potential. so it is about finding the right talent and emerging market, regulatory hurdles exist and that is also potentially a barrier, if you solve those issues, you can build around your business. so it depends. but it is essentially about execution and it is very fragmented, so to do that, you need high—quality talent in every market, notjust dubai, it has be saudi arabia, egypt, and the wider region. so there is no secret. no! that is all super interesting, thank you for your thoughts on that. we will step away for a second to say, we have heard a lot
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about the opportunities dubai offers, but starting a business anywhere is never easy. this region has unique opportunities and unique headaches. i caught up with two entrepreneurs whose experience ranges from video production to restaurants. we are at a gourmet shawarma restaurant right now. it's not common for emiratis to be entrepreneurs, we predominantly work in the government sector. so when we graduated, my brother and ifrom university, there was the option of working with the government. at the same time, we wanted to see if we had the skills and capabilities and the competitiveness to work in the private sector. we'd been brewing this concept of a gourmet shawarma restaurant
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for about seven years, and we opened up this gourmet shawarma restaurant in 2009, right when a global recession hit. i think we made some good decisions, but we also made a lot of bad decisions. in 2012, when we shut down the restaurant, it was the birth of peeta planet, the tv show. did you put a chilli in there, man? just a couple. so that was a journey of two years, 2a episodes, we visited every continent, just like this. that series ended up broadcasting to 15 million homes around the world, through the internet and through cable tv. we looked at each other and we were like, let's bring back bring back la peeta. so while we were travelling around the world, meeting people
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in the food industry, so whether it was street food, or a proper restaurant, we learn a lot from that. we picked up a lot of recipes as well. we did reach out to investors and nobody wanted to invest in us. i think this is one of the biggest challenges in the middle east, finding investment. let's talk now about some of the challenges that are unique to this city and this region. you are known to be quite outspoken about some of the challenges. you told a magazine in 2016 that a lot of the abstract —— upstart costs can be quite high, that you spend a lot of your funding on a business licenses, something like half. can you expend that a little bit? the business licenses and the regulatory environment and the challenge that you face when it comes to starting your business here?
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absolutely. i have a unique experience, because i started a company in silicon valley and exited, and i have started a company here. so i have... ab test... i have the views from both sides of the globe. the biggest challenge for any start—up, you will definitely attest, is raising money. money is the one thing that is very hard to come by, raising money is externally difficult. usually, this region of the world is just starting. the ecosystem in silicon valley is rich, but here, we are just starting. so drawing attention to fundraising, as a start—up, and also as a venture capitalist, is a very tough. we need more companies like careem and souk to hit that billion dollar mark, so that people can see that there are talents. so there is more confidence amongst the vc types? it's where we get our money from, our limited partners, who are slowly getting to grips with the region and the opportunities that it presents. but it takes a lot of education and role models. the challenge is the cost of living, affordable housing, these drives the costs of salaries, generally, overheads on the team.
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visa costs, that is often a problem, which is now being addressed by the government. incorporation costs, like i mentioned, global markets are making it affordable to get a license, less than $1000, have five visas and start a tech company. before, it used to be closer to ten or $20,000. absolutely, just think, in silicon valley, you can operate a company in your mother's garage. you hook up to your mother's wi—fi, you get a license online for $114, and you literally get 20 guys working for equity in a garage. you could then build a $1 billion company and there are tonnes of those stories in silicon valley. how do we make that easy? access to capital is very tough. the part of start—ups, we are always looking for money, because we take 1—5, sometimes six years, sometimes ten years to get to profitability.
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so we are constantly looking for money. sorry to interrupt, but i wanted to add that for us, when we started, the ecosystem didn't exist at the really early stage. today, that gap has been somewhat filled with enough investors. the challenge is now the growth stage, so it the ten plus rounds of million dollars of funding. those are where there are gaps. freedom house, the international human rights watchdog, classifies the uae is not free, those are their words. does that make it hard for you guys, or business leaders here, to recruit people from western or a more liberal countries and bring them in here? for the technology sector, that is what we invest in, i think it is attracting talent. in dubai, they have done a fantasticjob of doing that. a lot of workers, expat workers, come here, because there is little or no income tax for the worker. but that also creates a sort of a transient nature of the workforce, a lot of people come
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for a couple of years, save up some money, go home, buy a house... that transient nature, does that create any obstacles when it comes to long—term growth and long—term sustainability? laughing sorry, go ahead... no no, go ahead! it depends. you can argue that even in places like dubai, it is still quite transient. in dubai specifically, it is a challenge. what they are trying to do with the new visa regulations that are changing, to bring scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs, extending their visa for ten years, that will give you a bit more time to spend... and to put roots down in the country? yeah. you know, it is not... there is a pool of engineers out there. there is definitely a pool of engineers that you can hire, but the top brilliant engineers in the world, the innovators, the game changer engineers, the ones who dares to think outside the box, the top of the top, those guys are recruited from people all over the world.
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they are recruited from people from google, facebook, these guys are in demand, from the best universities in the world. how do you make it attractive for them to come here? halfway around the world... how do you make it... the guys that graduate from the top schools, how do you make it attractive for them and say, listen, come here, and work here, and be based here when we are competing with companies all of the world who are offering other things? perhaps permanent residency, or a chance to bring the whole family... that is part of the challenge that i have found with recruiting, not engineers, but the best of the best engineers, because we are competing with the rest of the world. i want to ask you... right, am i...? yeah, i agree with you, but i think young people are much more impact driven, and i think dubai is a gateway to the emerging markets. not necessarily the west, where the problems are easier problems, you are really solving impact from problems by starting businesses here that can cater to the wider,
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notjust middle east, but emerging market issues. and i think a lot of these entrepreneurs or engineers today want to be part of something that is really impactful. and so there are stories very have seen a lot of our founders attract talent from the leaders in the global tech community. i want to come in here, in this conversation, we are ignoring another pool of talent that we haven't... that still hasn't untaped and unlocked as much as we wish. it is the emirati talent... these people traditionally don't work in the private sector here, correct? the government has put in place a number of measures and initiatives to stimulate the employment of emirati talent in the private sector first of all, in general. and explaining the career path in the private sector, rather than the government, and what the benefits can be there. i want, from our experience, as the dubai chamber,
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we see a growing number of emirati female engineers who are partnering with expat non—engineers to build their companies and specifically in the tech field. so we ran the emirati training, a series of training, 75% of females with technology start—ups, and they keep growing. this is something that would be interesting in how we can further work with this. that leads me to the question i wanted to ask. a lot of people in the west would look at the middle east and say, it is conservative, it is a muslim country, maybe women face some sort of restriction on either launching a business or in their everyday life. have you faced any challenges yourself as a female entrepreneur here in the uae and in dubai specifically? i'm going to tell you that it is not a uae situation. women are challenged being in the tech space in silicon valley. it is not a dubai issue, it is a woman is you. —— issue
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yes, it has been extremely challenging. it has been externally challenging, as a woman, in the tech space, it has been challenging. i can honestly tell you, with all compete honestly, that yes, it is. uae in general, and dubai, in terms of the female leadership, i think they are very much ahead of a lot of other countries. it all comes down to the role models. we have a number of females leading huge offices and family businesses here. again, emiratis, non—emiratis and we need more role models, this is how we can do this. i agree, and i am proud to be a role model for fetcher, as a woman, no question about it. do you think dubai, over the next few years, and decades, will be the home for a truly global company? a company that, whether it is a user in china, or a user in the us or brazil, will have some sort of interaction with? that is a great question. aspirationally, yes.
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i think that what we see from our first set of investments to our second, which we are doing now, is that the problems are being sold are either larger in the middle east, so emerging markets, like i mentioned, or actually, some are global. the only talent with global opportunities is that the access to capital needs to come from international investors. because the region has not yet funded those kind of companies. and that kind of skill. so whether it stays in dubai, or is born in dubai, i think that will be the difference. i personally believe that there will be an international global company that has been born in dubai, but maybe shifts internationally to other markets, which personally, would be a shame. but at the same time, it would be great, because of the impact and this can create role models. i guess, aspirationally, yeah. probably not. practically? 0r practically, dubai born, international headquarters. guys, i feel like we could talk about all of this for the next few
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hours, but unfortunately, we are out of time. so thank you all for your time and perspectives today. that is all the time we have for this edition of talking business. join us next time and in the meantime, check us out at things didn't clear up where you are today, but you may be more likely to see the sunshine tomorrow. plenty of blue sky for the rest of the weekend. this is scotland earlier today, part of eastern scotland stayed rather cloudy, as did northern ireland. we have an area of high pressure in the continent. the air is coming in from the south—east. it is dry out, which is why the lot of the cloud that many of us started today with
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disappeared. it is looking fine if you are out and about this evening. this is the picture at 7pm, temperatures would down to single figures from some of us. a south—easterly breeze is noticeable, but a lot of land showing up, so it is clear. a lot of cloud from northern ireland cleared away. still the chance of some drizzle in eastern parts of scotland. but it is a fine evening out there, and a fine night as well. we will hold onto some cloud threes to impart in scotla nd some cloud threes to impart in scotland and the for north—east of england. but the arrows are indicating a south—easterly breeze. temperatures will drop as low as if the breeze from there, so low single figures, so a touch of frost to begin tomorrow, but not widespread. tomorrow, plenty of sunshine showing up. there will be some patchy cloud, more likely to parts of eastern scotla nd more likely to parts of eastern scotland and north—east england. but it isa scotland and north—east england. but it is a sunny day in northern
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ireland. for the most part, temperatures between nine and 12 celsius. there will be changes coming in the week ahead. firstly, we can see going into monday, the wind becomes easterly and the blue comes in here. so colder air will comes in here. so colder air will come in, but it will be noticeably cloudier. it will make it feel to it very different. there could be some light showers, just a few brighter spells here and there. temperatures are coming down into single figures from any of us, and if anything, going into tuesday, the easterly wind will start to strengthen, adding a colderfeel. still a lot of cloud. some bright and sunny spells, but there will be a greater chance of cutting some showers on tuesday. these may turn wintry on highest ground. temperatures have come down a little bit further, when you factor in the wind, it will feel colder still, across eastern part of the uk particularly.
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