Dubai, 14 August 2017: Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund (MBRF) – the financial arm of Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector – has honored 10 winners of its ‘START’ competition, aimed to assist unemployed Emiratis who have innovative business ideas to start their own businesses.
Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Dubai Economy, H.E Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, and Saeed Matar Al Marri, Deputy CEO of Dubai SME, handed over the prizes to the winners. The 10 winners will share a total prize money of AED 1,000,000.
There were 263 entries in the contest out of which 15 were shortlisted and enrolled in the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, the educational arm of Dubai SME, for a credit hours program aimed to develop their business plan and prepare them for the last pitch. The 10 winners were chosen by a Dubai SME jury.
“A core element of the Dubai SME strategy is to promote entrepreneurship as a culture and contributor to the national economy. The START competition is part of our efforts to stimulate entrepreneurial talent and support its evolution into a viable project and eventually into a competitive business,” said Al Janahi.
The entries submitted in the competition belong to various business sectors, reflecting the diversity of enterprise and spirit of innovation among Emiratis and the economic sector in the country.
“Sector-wise, Food & Beverages had the biggest share of projects with 19% while Services and Technology share the next place with 18% each. Fashion and other retail projects had 12% each while 21% belonged to various other sectors. Females were a majority among the contestants with 58%, further underlining the growing presence of women entrepreneurs in the country,” Al Janahi said.
The contestants were asked to submit their entries on the MBRF website www.thefund.ae or at the Dubai SME stand at ‘Careers UAE’ fair held earlier this year. The competition provided an attractive channel for the youth in the country to benefit from the initiatives of MBRF and step forward confidently towards achieving their goals, added Al Janahi.
Launched in 2015 to maximise financing solutions for innovative businesses and developing Emirati entrepreneurship, MBRF promotes startup businesses and supports their early stage development through a range of financing options including a Seed Capital Loan and Credit Scheme Loan.