Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards seek to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs with recognition programme
- United Arab Emirates: Sunday, October 28 - 2012 at 13:35
- PRESS RELEASE
Start-up businesses owned and operated by expatriates in the UAE are thriving, with all five finalists in the RSA Start-up Business of the Year category of the Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards headed up by non-nationals.
"We included the RSA Start-up Business of the Year Award precisely to recognise the challenges faced by entrepreneurs starting businesses in the UAE and succeeding in this highly competitive market," said Becky Crayman, Head of Awards, Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards.
As of the latest data provided by Dubai's Department of Economic Development (DED), the number of trade licenses issued in July this year reached 1,426 - an increase of 9% over the same period last year. This followed a hefty 17% increase in the number of trade licenses in Q2 this year, indicating a higher level of commercial interest among start-ups and investors in Dubai.
The RSA Start-up Business of the Year Award will recognise the UAE-based start-up business that has demonstrated how it has created and is delivering its company vision and mission; as well as how its business concept, services and products have been developed.
"RSA Insurance supports the growth of the UAE business community in general and is happy to help encourage the growth of entrepreneurship to boost commercial activities in the Emirates. We sincerely believe that our sponsorship of the RSA Start-up Business of the Year Award will help inspire entrepreneurs to get started with their own small businesses," said Chris Dooley, CEO, RSA Insurance UAE & Bahrain.
Out of the numerous entries received for this category, five start-ups stood out from the rest. Content Syndicate, a disruptive cloud-based content services platform, engaged in buying, selling, commissioning, and localising content in over 100 languages, was established in 2012; yet, according to its founder, the business has grown tremendously in the last two years.
"Without content, most companies and publishers would not have much to say or publish. They overlook the strategic importance of content, although it is vital to and is the lifeblood of media, communication, branding, marketing or PR - online or offline. We are addressing this fundamental market need and achieving success for our customers by leveraging innovative technology, bringing in efficiency and economies of scale, being agile and offering real value," said Maddy Reddy, Founder and CEO.
MyOffice offers a prestigiously located, high-end office solution, including support and additional services - from company incorporation to business partnering or concierge services. "We are ending our first year in operation at the 120% occupancy level. Our expansion that had been planned for the end of year two was immediately brought forward and we are currently in the process of expanding our first centre and are looking to finalise the agreements on establishing two further centres by the end of the year - a growth rate that was neither planned nor expected," said Melissa O'Neill, General Manager.
Completely self-funded with no bank assistance, Saluki Media - a boutique media production company - was co-founded by John Sammon, Ainsley Duncombe and Oliver Burton. "Since our establishment less than a year ago, we have grown exponentially, expanding our workforce from three to 22; we have also already produced over 50 TV commercials and 65 hours of international broadcast television. But perhaps the most exciting development so far is the recent signing of a $1.5m deal for an Arabic reality TV show," said Duncombe, Co-Founder and Managing Director.
Started in January 2011, The Brain & Learning Centre is the first cognitive brain training centre in the Middle East. Currently on its second year of operations, the company has recorded an impressive 70% growth since its inception. "We provide programmes that enhance intelligence, attention and memory-improving academic performance - permanent solutions that enable children to reach their true potential," explained Pouneh Roney, Director & Founder, The Brain & Learning Centre.
Last but not least, E-Walls Studio, owned by Lilliam Pollard, is a Dubai-based vinyl wall sticker company that offers fully customisable orders through their online store. "After a year of high traffic, we revamped our website to the most pioneering decal website in the region, offering complete bespoke solutions to our customers. Because everyone is different and people each have different tastes, we believe that each house should be able to express an individual's personality and uniqueness," Pollard added.
In addition to the RSA Start-up Business of the Year Award, 10 other award categories are being contested in the Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards, including Gulf Capital Business of the Year, MasterCard Small Business of the Year, Emirati Business of the Year, Online Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Business Leader of the Year, Sustainable Initiative of the Year, Customer Focus of the Year, Business Innovation of the Year and People and Culture of the Year.
Winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on November 7, 2012 at the Mehteran Theatre, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, The Palm Jumeirah.
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