Complex Made Simple

Teen-backed high school business plan contest concludes its second edition

It is a program crafted to motivate and mentor students to become the budding entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The Dubai High School Business Plan Competition, an initiative by the high school students from some of the best schools in Dubai, came to an end last weekend.

It is a program crafted to motivate and mentor students to become the budding entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The final event took place at Dubai College on 17th October 2015, and was judged by Bishoy Azmy (CEO of Al Shafar General Contracting), Vishnu Deuskar (Business and Financial Advisor to the Unigulf Group of Companies), Walid Hajj (Chairman of Cravia), Monica Valrani (CEO of Ladybird Nurseries) and Girish Hiranandani (Managing Director of Hira Industries).

Team Yum/Yum (Zohayr Khan and Christopher Yum) from American School of Dubai was chosen as the winning team while team Bespoke Books (Ashwati Nair, Rami Elkhatib, Ria Chinchankar) and team Najan (Abdelrahman Abbas, Ammar Amdani, James Ecran, Rafic Hasbini), both from Dubai American Academy occupied the second and third positions respectively. The prize money included scholarships worth 50,000 AED for the first placed team, 35,000 AED and 20,000 AED for the teams that came second and third.

The Dubai High School Business Plan Competition nicknamed as the Bizz Plan 101 held its first edition in the year 2014. The founder of the competition was Sami Malas, student at the American School of Dubai at the time. Two bright teenagers Rohan Valrani (American School of Dubai) and Dharam Madnani (Dubai College) organized the contest this year.

The competition gives an opportunity to all current freshmen, sophomores and juniors attending a high school in Dubai to participate in the competition. The format asks them to create their hypothetical businesses in groups of two to four and to construct their unique business plans. Participants are given about three months to prepare their plans and are matched with mentors to assist them based on areas of expertise. The top ten teams are announced in the process and given feedback from the judges to prepare for their presentations at the final event, where the top three groups chosen by the judges are rewarded with prize money for scholarships. The judges are selected from the pool of sponsors and generally happen to be the leaders of their respective organizations.

Talking about the significance of such a pioneering platform, Rohan Valrani said, “Our idea was to reach out and give back to the high school community. This competition stems creativity among our peer group while allowing the winners to enjoy financial rewards.”

“With the success of last year’s competition, we were pleased to build up on its momentum. With this program, we sincerely look forward to inspiring more student entrepreneurs in Dubai”, added Dharam Madnani.

The main sponsors of the event this year were Virgin Megastore, Unigulf Development, Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC), Bayt, Cravia, DSA Investments, Hira Industries, Ladybird Nursery, Petrochem, Shoemart and Uber.