The fifth phase of Akoun Entrepreneurship Campaign, an initiative by Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED), has successfully concluded after organizing a total of 23 workshops in different universities across the seven emirates between March 9 to May 19.
This year, the campaign registered a record attendance of 2,684 young Emirati business aspirants, both male and female, who were exposed to opportunities, rewards, and challenges through the interactive workshops that consisted of experts’ visits to career fairs and of the annual rewarding ‘Business Idea Competition’.
The key facilitators of the interactive workshops were Anas Bukhash and Ghanem Al Hajeri. Successful Emirati entrepreneurs in their own right, the facilitators inspired the young minds with anecdotes from their hands-on experiences in the business world. Subsequent to the workshops, each attendee was given a business kit, which contained a certificate of attendance, a personalized business card with the name of the company they proposed, and a personalized environment friendly notebook.
The ‘Business Idea Competition’ was a highly motivational part of the campaign. Rules of the competition stipulated that Emirati individuals or a team comprising at least one Emirati member may submit an innovative and commercially viable business idea. More than 230 entries have been registered, which is a significant increase from last year`s 148 submissions.
ADCED has created an elite panel of entrepreneurs, partners, and academicians to scrutinize the entries. Three winners will be chosen from each participating Emirate, and will be awarded with cash prizes. The best business idea winner will receive Dhs25,000 for the first place, while the second and third place winners will get Dhs15,000 and Dhs10,000 respectively. However, all non-winning competition entrants will receive expert feedback and advice on their submissions, and will be given the chance to re-enter the competition in the next year.
Expressing delight at the successful completion of the fifth phase of Akoun Entrepreneurship Campaign, H.E. Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, Director General of ADCED, said, “The way Akoun campaign turned out this year is a clear example of our continued commitment to the initiative. The benchmarks were significantly raised in terms of publicity, presentation, and participation. We were able to attract more Emirati youth to the program and succeeded in instilling in them the desire to define and build their own future creatively rather than rely on traditional revenues. Akoun initiative is a great driver in this direction and we will pursue the goal more and more vigorously in the years ahead.”
Akoun Entrepreneurship Campaign, which was launched in 2009, brings together government organizations, educational institutions, and successful Emirati entrepreneurs to initiate the youth into private enterprises; providing them with the requisite knowledge, resources and guidance. Adopting a constructive approach, the interactive workshops were held in collaboration with strategic partners, including Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI), Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, and the Western Region Development Council (WRDC). The workshops were also held in collaboration with other partners including the Department of Economic Development (DED), Khalifa Fund, TwoFour54, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and The Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders.
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