Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, recently held a meeting with the UAE Ministry of Education to discuss the 9th cycle of the Young Entrepreneur Competition (YEC 2013), to be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
The meeting was part of ensuring the support and co-operation of the higher authorities in the UAE educational zones in building awareness on YEC 2013 and encouraging students to participate in the event, which will be also be held in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah for the first time in addition to Dubai.
YEC 2013 aims to inculcate entrepreneurial spirit among students in the public and private secondary schools and universities across the UAE. The competition is an opportunity for participants to test-launch their entrepreneurial ideas and skills in a real world of business and also learn the basic principles of starting and operating a business.
During the meeting, members of the YEC organising committee explained about the competition and the guidelines for managers in government higher secondary schools for briefing students on participating in the event.
“The Ministry of Education has been our strategic partner in making the Young Entrepreneur Competition successful over its past eight cycles. We believe this kind of partnership between local and federal government organisations in the UAE is critical to building the right kind of awareness and capabilities among our young citizens and enabling them to grow into future leaders,” commented Nisrin Mohammed Al Harmoodi, General Coordinator of YEC.
“The Young Entrepreneur Competition provides students with valuable experience and market knowledge that will eventually help them to be successful and contribute to overall economic development and productivity in the UAE,” added Al Harmoodi.
Yousuf Lootah, Head of Public Relations for the Young Entrepreneur Competition stated that the YEC 2013 organising committee met with the principals and activities co-ordinators in government schools so that complete information on the event is passed on to as many students as possible.
“We expect not less than 1,000 projects in the YEC 2013, which will be 15 per cent higher than last year’s total. We want to spread the message that we have widened the field for students across the UAE and that they stand to benefit immensely from the competition,” Lootah said.
High school (grade 10) and university students in the 15-25 age group can participate in the event. The maximum number of students in each project should not exceed four. A project team can have students from different schools, colleges or universities.
A four-day exhibition for participants of YEC 2013 to showcase their projects will be organised in Abu Dhabi (3-6 April), Ras Al Khaimah (10-13 April) and in Dubai (April 17 and 20).
A jury comprising specialists from Dubai SME and external agencies will evaluate the projects and shortlist the best 100 before selecting the final winners. Creativity, innovation, marketing and customer service are the key criteria in selecting the winners. The winners will be honoured later by Dubai SME.
The competition will feature a range of projects spanning fashion, fine arts, handicrafts, traditional or heritage products, health products excluding medicines, environmental awareness products (recycling, renewable energy), educational material (games, tools, modern teaching aids), interior design, cultural activities, and information technology.