April 2021

Top entrepreneurs: Study UK Alumni Awards success

Two Leeds alumni have been nominated as finalists in the Entrepreneurial Award category of the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards in Saudi Arabia.

The British Council awards celebrate outstanding alumni around the world, with the Entrepreneurial Award focussing on alumni who have played a leading role in innovation.

Hattan Ahmed (MBA 2008) has been selected following his impressive leadership of the Entrepreneurship Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.

Dr Wail al Mousa (PhD Electronics and Electrical Engineering 2006) has been selected in recognition of his academic influence and his work as the founding Dean of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals Entrepreneurship Institute (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia.

These nominations come just weeks after the success of Hifza Rasheed (PhD 2018) in the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards in Pakistan, and Dr Joanne Yeoh (MA Music 1999) in Malaysia. 

Alumni can find out how to enter the Study UK Alumni Awards here.

Hattan Ahmed (MBA 2008)

Hattan is Head of the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, a business incubator which helps entrepreneurs through all stages of the start-up process, from inception to funding, launch and beyond.

Hattan supports entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds, offering training and mentorship to scientists and students who are looking to introduce their innovations to companies, whilst also supporting Saudi business owners interested in adopting a more entrepreneurial approach to business growth. As a startup co-founder himself, he draws on a wealth of experience in his role.

Hattan has educated over 2,000 innovators and entrepreneurs this year. 253 start-ups developed from the center, with economic implications both nationally and globally.

Hattan credits his time at Leeds as being important to his success, giving him corporate and innovative experience he needed, whilst fuelling his passion for excellence.

In addition to the most recent nomination, Hattan has received multiple entrepreneurial awards both in Saudi Arabia and worldwide.

Dr Wail al Mousa (PhD Electronics and Electrical Engineering 2006)

Wail has been able to utlilise his extensive academic knowledge for business success.

In his current role as the founding Dean of KFUPM Entrepreneurship Institute, Wail has been a key influence in supporting a number of start-ups and creating jobs. He draws on a wealth of knowledge to do so following his PhD at Leeds, and his roles of Assistant and Associate Professor at KFUPM. Wail has written over fifty publications, authored three books and holds six granted patents.

Of his most recent work, Wail said: "I established many programs and initiatives to spread the culture of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking among young people and students in KFUPM and beyond." This work was recognized nationally in 2017, when KFUPM was awarded best University in Saudi Arabia for Supporting Entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Congratulations to our two nominees. Alumni can find out how to enter the Study UK Alumni Awards here.