Emirati entrepreneur Yousef Al Ali's storytelling and content creation platform Yggdarsil was one of two big winners at the event

UAE based business setup consultancy, Creative Zone concluded its flagship accelerator and incubator programmes Startup X in partnership with Sharjah Media City and (SHAMS) and She Leads 2.0 with the Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC). The two winners were announced by Lorenzo Jooris, CEO, Creative Zone and Nadine Halabi, Business Development Manager, DBWC, over a virtual event.

Emirati entrepreneur Yousef Al Ali's storytelling and content creation platform Yggdarsil and British expat Georgina Daisy Ricks's It's a PCOS Party were declared the winners. These two businesses received a combined total of Dh200,000 worth of business support services, including a free trade license, business solutions, and credits from technology giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Zoho.

Georgina Ricks for web
British expat Georgina Daisy Ricks's It's a PCOS Party, a female fitness business, was the other major winner at Startup-X Image Credit:

She Leads 2.0 and Startup X attracted more than 500 applications, out of which 20 businesses were shortlisted and were provided weeklong training and coaching sessions by industry experts and investors. These 20 entrepreneurs were then called for Demo Days that took place for three consecutive days. The twenty businesses were an interesting mix of a wide range of ideas that covered food tech, e-commerce, OTT, fashion, education, and fitness.

Nadine Halabi said, “It was incredible to see such an overwhelming response for the programme, and I am amazed at the creativity, innovation, talent and the true commitment to social impact that we keep witnessing in the region. Some notable ideas that we saw involved, inculcating kindness in children from the start, regular mental health support for professionals, ecologically sustainable ways to grow vegetables, ethical fashion, blockchain in real estate, and fintech. We look forward to providing them with the opportunity to set up and grow in the vibrant business districts of the UAE and guiding them every step of the way.”

The winning business Yggdarsil is a storytelling platform that seeks to provide writers with a robust platform wherein they can publish & monetise their content. Yggdarsil is a well-designed ecosystem that provides value to writers and teaches best practices in authorship, hones their creativity, and inspires them to create their own masterpieces.

"This is a huge milestone for me and my company and it feels surreal to have won. The confidence showed by the judges in Yggdarsil has boosted my confidence leaps and bounds and I am really grateful to Creative Zone for giving young entrepreneurs such a brilliant platform to launch and grow their business. The learnings from the mentorship session will stay with me forever," said Yousef Al Ali on winning Startup X.

The other winning business, It's PCOS Party, is a much-needed solution for a globally occurring health problem, especially among females. The owner Georgina Ricks started the company after successfully overcoming PCOS herself. It's a PCOS Party educates women on managing their symptoms and reversing PCOS naturally through diet and lifestyle changes. Georgina has helped over a hundred women combat PCOS and achieve their health and weight goals without any side effects and in a completely natural way.

Commenting on her victory, Georgina added “Winning She Leads 2.0 will be a game changer for my business and I couldn’t thank Creative Zone and the Dubai Business Women Council enough for this. The programme offers literally everything small businesses need to make a mark for themselves. The connections, the feedback and advise I got from the judges and this programme is priceless. Winning She Leads will enable me to expand my company at a quicker rate, build a better digital presence, and get access to technology and CRM tools that are key for business growth”.

"I couldn't be prouder of how the programme has evolved and the participation it got. Scaling up these businesses also means scaling their impact, which means we can begin tackling some of the most critical issues faced by new and bootstrapped businesses. I'm also thankful to the fellow judges whose tremendous feedback, advice and tips added enormous value to this programme. We are in touch with all of these twenty finalists as we believe collaboration and partnerships across all sectors are key if we want to create long-term solutions for the region, by the region”, said Lorenzo Jooris, CEO, Creative Zone.

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