Halifax-based entrepreneur and educator Akram Al-Otumi has been named Global Enactus Alumni of the Year.  

Well-known in Halifax as the CEO and Founder of Spritely Technologies Inc., Al-Otumi is also Director of Shiftkey Labs, a software innovation hub and a lecturer in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship at Dalhousie University.

Enactus is a global group that helps students form social ventures – businesses that help society or the environment. The organization exists in 37 countries, 1,730 universities and has over 75,000 members.

Al-Otumi said it means a lot to be recognized at an international level by an organization that has played a significant role in shaping his outlook as an emerging professional. 

“I understand firsthand the challenges that new grads face in securing employment, and I also know the skills and traits that Enactus alumni bring into the workforce,” he said. “This is why I have employed three Enactus alumni to date in my own businesses.

“I credit Enactus with playing a big role in helping to sharpen my public speaking, leadership and business skills, and showing me that impact and empathy in business are as important as profit.”

Al-Otumi came to Halifax in 2007 having grown up in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen.

“I came to Nova Scotia when I was 19,” he told Entrevestor in an earlier interview. “I worked. I was very social. I did my best to integrate, to understand the culture. It wasn’t easy, but after a few years I felt at home.”

He founded the Enactus Dalhousie chapter while studying at the university in 2012 and served as president. He also founded the Nova Scotia alumni chapter and has remained active since graduating in the roles of judge, league coordinator, and speaker.

He said Enactus has a lot to offer in this time of turmoil.

“It’s the perfect combination of skills, mindset and experiences to help today’s students blend business skills with tangible impact on social issues. Enactus’ approach provides a win-win for communities and participants and unites members from around the globe...”

Previously, Al-Otumi received the 2015 Enactus Alumni of the Year Award for Canada and was named an Enactus John Dobson Fellow in recognition of his contributions as a faculty advisor.

“I want to give the credit of this recognition to all of my Enactus network from entrepreneurs, to students to professors and alumni,” he said of his latest win.

“Also special thanks to Enactus Canada for their incredible support to their members and for their outstanding work through entrepreneurship which aims to improve Canada’s standard of living and quality of life for Canadians. Thanks to you all from my heart.”