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Webpreneur to teach his trade

Filed on July 24, 2010

Have you ever wondered how to make it big in the cyber world, reaping financial gains without having to leave the security and convenience of your own home?

Wonder no more, and learn the rudiments of e-commerce, of creating your own site, networking online and using social networking platforms such as facebook, youtube, Google, and Yahoo! to work for you. All you have to do is enrol in an online university and you could possibly just make that dream come true.

Webpreneur to teach his trade (/assets/oldimages/ee_230710.jpg)The www.WebpreneurUniversity.com is a website developed recently and is aimed at helping budding webpreneurs to get a foothold in the online market. Its tagline ‘End Brandism. Begin Youism’ is a very persuasive phrase coined by the university’s dean and developer Amir Anzur to stress that “you can work for yourselves”.

An internet guru and a successful entrepreneur, Anzur got the idea to develop the website after many people approached him for advice on their online businesses.

“I had many failures in terms of the internet. I’ve had several (online) companies and it took me a long time to understand how to market them... I have this knowledge and people kept asking me how do you do this and that,” he explains.

A graduate of Computer Science with Business and Management from the University of Manchester, UK, Anzur started his first online business in 1999, swept by the dotcom rush. It was a complete disaster and left him broke and in debt.

In 2003, he gave it a second shot, and co-founded Txtfo.com (text information) which enables people to shop on Amazon using text messaging. Txtfo has won him the 2005 European Prize for Innovation, edging past 560 entries.

It took Anzur more than a decade’s experience to learn the ropes of the online world and now at 33, the British national uses that expertise to advise on innovation, strategy and marketing for Google, Intel, Samsung, Xbox, Accenture, Microsoft and the Dubai Government.

“Education is never a bad thing...there are people who want to learn and spend their weekend learning. Those who want to develop themselves; they have to keep on investing in education,” says Anzur who’s operating out of Abu Dhabi.

“What we teach is that it’s easy enough to start your own site and your own commerce store. It is easier now than it has been in any point of history to start your own business and to make it... You have all the tools without having to leave home. All it needs is having the time,” he stresses. “Entrepreneurship is 80 per cent mindset,” he adds.

With the current internet craze, Anzur predicts that more women are going to be millionaires than men. “(As) they’re constrained in the house, they have more time and they are more motivated to work from home.” “The risk of failure is a lot lower in the internet, but the reward is higher,” Anzur emphasises.

The university has 11 faculties working online from France, UK, Pakistan, Philippines, India, Switzerland, US and the UAE.

When the portal went live this year, the first student was enrolled in May. There are 20 students currently enrolled at the university. Students enrolled into the programme could benefit from the site forum, video tutorial, text, webinars, individual or group coaching and camps in select countries where the majority of traffic comes from. In the Middle East region, the traffic originates from Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt, according to Anzur. The first webpreneur camp which was a two-day intensive lecture and workshop event was held in Dubai in this month.

According to the latest Middle East Internet Usage and Population Statistics, the UAE is the second highest in terms of internet penetration with 76 per cent, after Bahrain with 88 per cent — one of the reasons why Anzur has chosen the country as his home base.

In addition to this, the UAE has good infrastructure. “Here I have access to the 1.3billion-strong subcontinent market, plus the Arab market and that’s huge. There’s also a lot of energy in terms of developing than any other parts of the world,” he observes.

Anzur’s other online businesses include www.ShopMarkaz.com (how to sell goods and services online), www.seeko.org (audio learning site), www.txtfo.com, www.RebrandPakistan.org (rebranding of countries)

—olivia@khaleejtimes.com





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