Sunday 30, April 2017 by Georgina Enzer

Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders attracts over 2,300 applicants

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 Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector – has announced the that registrations for the 10th edition of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders (YBL) can be done on the website from 30 April to 31 August 2017.

The Award, which is the first of its kind and also part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives since 2015, aims to create a competitive environment among entrepreneurs in the region and honour individuals and institutions that have contributed to the development of SME sector performance in the UAE and across the Arab world.


"The Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders contributes towards achieving economic growth and the Dubai Plan 2021 by creating a supportive environment for youth innovations and an entrepreneurial culture," Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME, said adding that the Award has so far had 228 winners, comprising individuals, initiatives and companies in varied sectors.


The Award supports the youth in the UAE and the Arab world to translate their ambitions into exemplary business initiatives and also recognises innovative business models that improve productivity and enhance competitiveness in line with the UAE Vision 2021, Al Janahi said.


"Over the past years, Dubai SME has strived to accomplish the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in supporting the youth march towards entrepreneurship, providing consultancy services to more than 23,000 national entrepreneurs and supporting the establishment of 4,000 businesses since inception,” Al Janahi explained.


“The Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders, meanwhile, has recognised outstanding entrepreneurs and companies for their contributions to the community and the innovations they added to the UAE and Arab markets. Among the 2,315 participants in the Award since launch 25 per cent came from outside the UAE. Moreover, by supporting SME achievements the Award has continued to stimulate entrepreneurship locally and regionally. Dubai now is an acknowledged platform for SMEs inside and outside UAE seeking to grow regionwide.”


The 10th edition of YBL will see many improvements in terms of ease of evaluation, transparency and impartiality as a result of a sharper focus on promoting competition. The scope of the Award has been expanded to include the largest number of initiatives and projects that contribute to the development goals and vision, generally in the Arab world and particularly in the UAE.



The Award has categories for entrepreneurs, SMEs and business leaders in the UAE and the Arab world. The SME/entrepreneur categories include best SMEs in the trade, industry and services sectors (start-up and existing companies); best SMEs in innovation and social responsibility; best SME owned and managed by entrepreneurs with disabilities, and entrepreneurial personality for 2017.


SME support groups in the UAE will be recognised various categories, such as:  best supporting government entity in Dubai; best supporting semi-government entity in Dubai; the best supporting federal government entity; best supporting private sector entity; best supporting bank; best entrepreneurship development initiative; the best supporting school and university, and the best incubator/accelerator.


The Award for supporting entities in the Arab world includes: best supporting bank; the best entrepreneurship development initiative, and the best incubator/facilitator.


“The Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders reflects the commitment of Dubai SME in supporting and developing the SME sector and providing the right opportunities for ambitious youth who are determined to grow into business leaders,” said Ibtihal Al Naji, General Co-ordinator of YBL.


Al Naji said participation in the 10th YBL is estimated to grow remarkably as in the previous years. “We expect an increase of at least 15 per cent this year, which in itself will endorse the value of the award in terms of demonstrating SME achievements and excellence in the UAE and the Arab world.”


YBL is being enhanced by integrating best international practises into the various levels of registration, evaluation, shortlisting and review of financial statements and reports submitted by the applicants, Al Naji said. She also applicants to adhere to the age limit set for the various categories of the Award as follows: for start-ups, from six months to three years; existing companies, three years and above.

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