Dubai SME has launched the second phase of the 12th edition of the Young Entrepreneur Competition (YEC).
A total of 580 projects will be demonstrated in the second phase of the competition, which has been set up to encourage youth engagement with commerce, in particular e-commerce, as a business activity. The successful concepts will be showcased at an exhibition at Dubai’s City Walk from 5 to 7 April with participants using an entrepreneurial kiosk platform to market their wares.
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the first phase of YEC in December, with the initiative seeing Dubai SME working in partnership with the popular e-commerce portal souq.com to enable competition entrants to retail their products through the site. As the Arab world’s largest on-line retailer attracting more than 23 million visitors a month, souq.com provided an impressive electronic platform for the participants to demonstrate their e-vendor capabilities. The first phase of the contest involved the competitors presenting and selling their products through the interactive platform, competing to reach the largest number of targeted customers and providing the logistical support required for sales.
“The fact that the second phase of YEC has attracted such a large number of young people and students from across the UAE underscores their depth of awareness of the entrepreneurship sector and its ability to provide them with great opportunities. The strong participation in the first phase of the competition was a refreshing testament of Arab youth’s ability to deal with e-commerce, which has become a major part of the retail sector in the UAE and across the region,” said HE Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.
He added that YEC is in line with the UAE strategy for digital transformation by providing a competitive trading platform for young people, allowing them to start their projects and businesses from an early age, provifing them with all the support they need for growth and contributes to the creation of a sustainable economy. The contest aligns with the approach of our government, which supports the concepts of creativity and innovation and guides the energies of young people to participate effectively in the development of their country.
Abdul Aziz Al Mazam, general coordinator of YEC, said that the second phase of competition features entrepreneurs taking part in two categories. The first sees children from five to 11 years old participating with 200 projects; the second sees older children and young adults aged 12-25 years participating with 380 projects.
The YEC business categories include arts and crafts, accessories, product design, children’s products, photography, traditional products, optics, personal care, books, education, mobile and tablets, electronics, sport and fitness, toys and games, music, car accessories, home décor and furniture, and garden and outdoor. Innovative activities within YEC include: Artificial Intelligence, renewable energy, technology, transportation, education, health, water and space.
Phase two of YEC is open to all nationalities residing in the UAE. For the age group five to 11 years, the number of participants in each project should not exceed two and the team leader or guardian should register the project in the application of the competition. For the age group 12-25 years, the number of participants in each project should not exceed four and the team leader should register the project in competition application.
Since its launch in 2005, YEC has spread widely among students and young people in the UAE, attracting more than 4,000 projects and 11,000 participants. The competition’s new electronic platform has contributed to the expansion of participants this year and has brought their projects to the largest possible segment of customers.
Dubai SME is evaluating the projects involved in the final phase by calculating specific performance points earned. Competition winners will be selected based on these points and those awarded during the second stage at City Walk. The winners will be announced on 14 April 2018, at the annual YEC awarding ceremony that will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre.