Mansoor Bin Mohammed honours best business and innovative projects and smart applications at YEC 2016

Dubai, 16th April, 2016 (WAM): HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum honoured the outstanding business and innovative projects as well as smart applications from school and university students who participated in the 11th cycle of the Young Entrepreneur Competition (YEC 2016), held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Altogether 25 winners – ten each in the Innovative Projects and Commercial Projects categories and five in the Smart Applications category – received prizes from HH Sheikh Mansoor at the closing ceremony of the Competition held at the Meydan Hotel.

Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, and Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, the DED agency mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, also attended the final ceremony.

Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed honoured representatives from the Dubai Festival City Mall, the Ministry of Education, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Giftko International being strategic partners for YEC.

Mohammed Al Mazroui ‘Best Businessman of the Year,’ Lego Certified Expert Dr Tarifa Al Zaabi ‘Best Businesswoman of the Year,’ Hassan Habib, Fatima Al Kaabi ‘Youngest Inventor’ and Mohammed Bin Karam were honoured for promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and also for their contribution to developing a new generation of skilled entrepreneurs.

Expressing his gratitude to Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed for his continued support to promoting entrepreneurial spirit among youngsters, Abdul Baset Al Janahi said: “Dubai SME is keen to launch initiatives that support Dubai’s efforts to develop the skills of our younger generation and we are pleased to provide them a unique experience in running a business and learning basic entrepreneurship lessons through the Young Entrepreneur Competition so that they can become successful entrepreneurs in the future.”

Al Janahi said more than 12,000 students from various schools and universities in the UAE have participated in the 11 cycles of YEC and the projects they submitted to date have crossed 4,300. Every year we see an increase in the projects submitted for participation and in business projects that evolve out of the Competition. We are proud to see such projects making an impact in the local market, and see them growing as enterprises capable of competing internationally.”

Ibtihal Al Naji, General Co-ordinator of YEC, commented: “Dubai SME has achieved significant milestones in YEC over the years, particularly in demonstrating the capabilities of our youngsters and preparing them to be future leaders. We are proud to see the high level of creativity and quality among the participating projects every year and particularly about those projects centred on smart and innovative applications which we saw this year.”

Al Naji also praised the role of partners and sponsors in the success of the Competition, which she said reinforces the partnership between various government entities as well as the importance of public-private partnerships in promoting entrepreneurship.

YEC 2016 saw a 20% increase in projects compared to its previous cycles, with over 1,000 applicants and a remarkable focus on innovation among them. The participants were shortlisted and winners selected through a transparent and impartial screening process.