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Young entrepreneur award attracts record 1,500 entries

Applications received from ambitious young industrialists

Gulf News

Dubai : The Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Development, part of the Department of Economic Development, yesterday announced that more than 1,500 ambitious young industrialists submitted their application forms for the Young Entrepreneur Competition 2010 (YEC), which is organised under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and is supported by du as the main sponsor.

MBRE will collaborate with the Dubai Mall for the second year to organise an exhibition where students can display their products and ideas from March 31 to April 3.

Participating projects will be assessed based on different standards, marking the students' first step towards becoming a part of the small and medium business sector.

As the main sponsor, du will be setting up four kiosks offering a chance to university students to get a first-hand experience of retailing telecom products and services to visitors at the exhibition.

A jury of specialists from the Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the UAE Ministry of Education, SS Lootah and Aswaq will evaluate the projects and select the winners according to creativity, innovation, marketing and profitability standards. Winners will be recognised in later time.

Overwhelming response

"The overwhelming response to the YEC 2010 is a great sign that the contest successfully reached young people from all different age categories." Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of MBRE for SME Development, said in a statement yesterday

"By addressing one of the most crucial segments of society — the youth, who are our future business leaders — YEC encourages creativity in students and encourages them to participate in supporting the economic growth in Dubai.

The event provides a competitive environment, which educates students on the basic principles of starting and operating a private business, and inspires them to become entrepreneurs by creating a simple entrepreneurial environment," he added.

Hala Badri, du's executive vice-president of brand and communications, said: "We are honoured to be a part of this key initiative. As a UAE national company, we identify and encourage promising young talents to realise their potential and become business leaders of tomorrow. We hope that our efforts in offering retail sales experience to stud-ents at the exhibition will equip them with essential work skills."

Since its inception in 2005, YEC has succeeded in encouraging entrepreneurial spirit within youngsters from high schools and universities across the UAE.

The number of participants at YEC has increased from 84 in the first launch of the competition to 700 participants this year.