Emirates Foundation, an independent philanthropic organisation set up by the Abu Dhabi Government to facilitate public-private partnerships for empowering youth across the UAE, announced that it has received over 200 submissions and short-listed 15 enterprises who will receive an incubation grant by the Foundation to start up their social ventures.
Launched under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Chairman of Emirates Foundation, Emirates Award for the Arabian Gulf youth is one of the Foundation’s key initiatives, a competition aimed at encouraging young venture philanthropists from across the GCC to develop innovative solutions to regional social issues, and empowering them with a solid platform to deliver sustainable social impact for their communities and coun-tries.
The top 15 entries for the 2015 Emirates Award for Arabian Gulf Youth were shortlisted by a senior panel of entrepreneurs and experts, who selected the most promising social enterprises from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.
Judging panel members are Muna Al Gurg, Director Retail, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group; Dr. Iman Bibars, Chief Executive Officer, Ashoka Middle East; Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME’s Development (Dubai SME), An agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai; Sultan Al Hajji, Vice President & CSO, TOTAL; and Amal Ishaq Kooheji, Acting VP, Human Capital Development, Tamkeen.
“The sheer number of entrants into the EAAGY this year has been remarkable. The youth per-spective on social issues, their insights into the problems and their ability to articulate solutions to deeply rooted social causes in a relevant and sustainable manner has been outstanding,” said Maytha Al Habsi, Chief Programs Office at Emirates Foundation.
“A major objective of the EAAGY is to support, motivate and unlock the young generation’s so-cial entrepreneurship potential and to establish long-term, sustainable and scalable enterprises. The huge success of the Award’s first edition is testament to this and we are confident that the second edition will go a long way to nurture the potential of our youth for the benefit of the GCC communities,” Al Habsi added.
GCC youth have shown they are innovative and have ideas with the potential to make a positive impact on GCC business, environment and society. But having an idea is only the start. Crystalising that idea and making it feasible from a business perspective is where many budding entrepreneurs get stuck. That is where the Emirates Foundation comes in. Part of our mission, through initiatives like the EAAGY, is to link youth with business enterprises and experienced mentors who can offer technical and financial support and help them work through the challenges turning their ideas into viable social business projects.
By tapping into the dynamism of 21st century youth and their appetite for new ideas, the Emirates Foundation seeks to support youth initiatives that can create real and sustainable social change.
Short-listed participants will undergo intensive online mentorship to support them build up the enterprise viability and sustainability farmworkers. They will then be flown to the UAE to attend a mentorship workshop, led by industry experts, to prepare them for their final pitch in front of the judging panel on November 17th. The panel will then select three winners who will be rec-ognized at the Annual EAAGY Recognition event, which takes place on November 18 in Abu Dhabi.
The award is an annual event open to Arabian Gulf nationals aged between 18 and 35 who are invited to submit their ideas through a video application on the foundation’s website.
The winning ideas will be announced at the Emirates Foundation Youth Recognition Ceremony, which will take place in Abu Dhabi on November 18, 2015. The top three teams will receive an incubation grant of AED100,000, AED70,000, and AED50,000, respectively, as well as further mentoring for 12 months. The other 12 individuals will also receive specialized training and access to an extensive network.