Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has announced the opening of registration for the 9th cycle of the Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders (YBL).
Registration can be completed through the website www.smeawards.ae starting from January 25 until end of February 2015. Through YBL, Dubai SME aims to promote competition among entrepreneurs in the UAE and across the Arab world and honour individuals and organisations who have contributed to developing SME performance in the UAE and the Arab world.
The award categories include Best SME in Islamic economy field in the Arab world, Best school contributing to the development of entrepreneurial spirit, the best small and medium enterprises in the UAE and the Arab world, Entrepreneurial Personality in the UAE and the Arab World (nomination), entities providing the best support to the Government Procurement Programme (GPP) in the UAE government, semi-government and private sectors, best bank and organisation supporting SME initiatives (by nomination) as well as the best entrepreneur support initiative.
The Arab world category of Supporting Organisation Awards will have the following sub-categories: Best Higher Education Institution Promoting Entrepreneurship; Best Mentor Network; Best entrepreneurship Development Fund; Most SME-friendly Bank and Best Initiative in Entrepreneurship Development.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, said: “The 9th cycle of the Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders is witnessing significant improvements in terms of ease of evaluation, transparency and independent arbitration which will be further encouraging for entrepreneurs competing to be the best in the UAE and the Arab world. We aim to have the largest number of registrations so far in this cycle.
“The Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business leaders is a major platform for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial development programmes in the Arab world. It also reflects the keenness of Dubai and its leadership in activating the role of the small and medium-sized businesses and promoting development and sustainability of such projects under the overall objective of achieving competitiveness and economic development.”
Al Janahi added that Dubai SME expects substantial growth in the number of YBL participants as in the past. “Our statistics show that number of participants has continued to grow by not less than 15% annually. It is proof of the reputation of the award and the keenness of SME owners and entrepreneurs in the UAE and the Arab world to highlight their achievements.”
Ibtihal Al Naji, General Coordinator of YBL, stated: “After receiving applications from the UAE and Arab world on the website Dubai SME will sort and shortlist them to make sure they meet the conditions laid down to qualify for the second phase. The second phase will comprise site visits and review of financial statements as well as the strategies adopted by the business.”
Al Naji said YBL has contributed to raising SME performance, particularly in terms of quality and service, irrespective of whether they are local or Arab world SMEs or home-based businesses (Intelaq) of Emaratis.
To be eligible for the YBL Awards, a business should be legally registered and be based and/or operating in the UAE or the Arab country of origin, in addition to being fully owned by citizens. The age of the business should be as follows: Home-based business (Intelaq) in Dubai – up to three years; Start-up business – six months to three years; Established business – three years and above. For more information, please visit Smeawards.ae or call 800 SME.