Mariam_Al Mansouri and Abeer Farooqui, 1st runner-ups
Three second-year undergraduate students from Abu Dhabi University (ADU) took top honors in the inter-University “Business for Better” Competition organized by Western Union and Al Ansari Exchange in the UAE, with second and third place going to student groups of two members each from American University of Sharjah (AUS). 15 Groups of students were shortlisted for the final round wherein they were required to present their sustainable business plans to the panel of judges.
The students were evaluated based on four key aspects of their business idea - Originality, Concept and Description, Operational Plan, and Financial Planning and Budgets, by a judging panel that included Bassem Awada, Western Union’s Regional Director for the Gulf, Rashed Al Ansari, General Manager of Al Ansari Exchange, and representatives from the Universities.
Jean Claude Farah, Western Union’s Senior Vice President for MEA, and Mohammed Al Ansari, Managing Director of Al Ansari Exchange presented each of the students from the top three groups with Certificates of Participation and Certificates of Appreciation in recognition for their partaking and winning, at an award ceremony held at the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai recently. Students from the remaining 12 groups also received certificates of participation in recognition of their efforts.
The winning team, an all-girls group of Eman Alkurd, Jennat Jahan and Laily Moidu from ADU were also each awarded AED 35,000 as scholarships for their next academic year. With just seven points separating the runners-up, another team of girls - Abeer Farooqui and Mariam Al Mansoori from AUS were placed second with their colleagues Muhammad Asif and Fawad Anjum winning third place. They were also each awarded AED 20,000 and AED 10,000 respectively, as scholarships.
Expressing her delight on winning first place, Eman Alkurd, a Palestinian national studying Bachelors of Business Administration with a major in Finance at ADU, thanked everyone who supported her during the competition, especially her teammates and accredited their team’s victory to the quality of their presentation and the idea behind it, as well the efforts they put in to succeed.
The judges appreciated the poise and confidence exhibited by all the students during their presentations, and also commended the creativity shown by the students and for delivering their presentations with passion, stating that they compete with the best across the world.
Seven Universities from the UAE – Abu Dhabi University (ADU), American University in Dubai (AUD), American University of Sharjah (AUS), University of Bolton Ras Al Khaimah Campus, Heriot-Watt University in Dubai, University of Dubai (UD) and University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) participated in this competition.
Apart from the shortlisted students and the judging panel, the awards ceremony was also attended by family and friends of the students, University representatives, and senior executives from Western Union and Al Ansari Exchange.