Meet Raed Daoudi, advising SMEs on entrepreneurship and business development

Meet Raed Daoudi, advising SMEs on entrepreneurship and business development 

By: Abu Dhabi SME Hub

The Access to Experts initiative offers you professional, free-of-charge guidance and support on doing business in Abu Dhabi.

Meet Raed Daoudi, Manager – Entrepreneurs Capability Building Department, with the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED).

A member of the Access to Experts initiative, Raed answers the Hub's Q&A so you can get to know him better. 


Raed is a seasoned L&D (learning and development) professional and executive coach, bringing along 20-plus years of rich experience as a trainer, consultant & coach in the field of entrepreneurship & SME development.

As part of the Khalifa Fund, Raed provides entrepreneurs with needed tools and education to survive and thrive.


Can you summarize your role in one sentence?

Raed Daoudi, Manager – Entrepreneurs Capability Building Department, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, providing consultancy services and capability building for startups and SME’s.

What are two truths and one myth about your field?

Fun Fact #1: There is no secret to success.

Truth to be told, there are no secrets, just the same old thing. Work hard on your idea, do not be afraid of failure, and remind yourself that the most successful entrepreneurs have failed at the beginning. As an entrepreneur, you have to learn from your mistakes and find a way to overcome them.

Fun Fact #2: You don’t have to be young and restless to be an entrepreneur.

Younger people have undoubtedly more advantages when it comes to starting their own project. They are more willing to take risks and they have the digital skills required for developing a business. Additionally, governments usually have some policies in place to encourage young entrepreneurship. 

This trend is confirmed by the last GEM Report, which shows that adults between 25 and 44 years old are more likely to be starting their own businesses. However, the same report has stressed that: 

“There are sufficient exceptions to conclude that age matters, but not always: other things may matter more, such as the availability of startup finance, outward and inward migration, social and cultural factors, alternative job opportunities or the lack of them, levels of human capital, and access to social security.”

Myth: Entrepreneurs are born, not made.

False – as in the case of soft skills, you can learn how to start your business or become a leader, you just have to put the effort and have the right beliefs and mindset in order to enter the entrepreneurial world.

Who would benefit most from your expertise?

Startups/SME entrepreneurs.

Tell us about your experience working with a startup/entrepreneur. 

In general, giving consulting sessions to entrepreneurs & SME’s and watching them implement the new strategies and recommendations you suggested with the confidence and the belief that will reflect back on their business positively. Also, watching them take new decisions based on your advice knowing it will increase the success rate of their business.

What are some common challenges you've noticed entrepreneurs face, and why is it important for them to seek mentorship on these topics? 

  • Challenge: Cash flow is essential to small business survival, yet many entrepreneurs struggle to pay the bills (let alone themselves) while they’re waiting for checks to arrive.

  • Solution: Proper budgeting and planning are critical to maintaining cash flow, but even these won’t always save entrepreneurs from stressing over bills. Beat this by paying attention to your cash flow needs and projections. Then make sure you have insurance and have some financial reserves, or at least some emergency credit.

What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I have received is that you always have to be hungry for learning, you always have to be growing, sharpening your skills and acquiring new knowledge to compete in this fast-changing world, otherwise you will be left behind.

Raed is part of our Access to Experts initiative, providing mentorship and support to prospective and existing entrepreneurs looking to grow in Abu Dhabi. Connect with him and other industry thought leaders here.


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