INJAZ UAE, a member of INJAZ Al-Arab and Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, the world’s largest non-profit business education organisation, held the 14th edition of its highly successful ‘National Company Program Competition’ at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City.
The competition, which encourages students to use their entrepreneurial spirit to create their own start-up company, saw over 400 students from across the UAE’s schools and universities compete with a total of more than 30 teams qualified to compete for a series of prestigious awards, including ‘Company of the Year’. To date, INJAZ UAE reached and impacted more than 100,000 students since inception.
Following the judging process, the award ceremony kicked off with the ‘CEO of the Year’ award, which recognisedKawkab Al Ashrafi, CEO of I-Influence from the High School Track and Reem Humaid CEO of Tatee from the University Track.
The evening also saw the coveted ‘Company of the Year’ university prize awarded to AK&D Studios from Abu Dhabi University. AK&D Studios creates services tailor-made for women entrepreneurs by recruiting the talents of freelance creatives in the UAE. While the high school edition of the prize was awarded to I-Influence from Dubai National School Al Barsha. I-Influence is a digital platform that is designed to enhance the lives of micro-influencers by providing them with a range of services that can guide them through various ventures.
Other awards on the day included ‘Product of the Year’, which was presented for the University Track to WeShare from the American University of Sharjah. WeShare is an exclusive crowd-investing platform that connects individual investors of young entrepreneurs of university students and other money savers with potential SMEs investment programs. For the high school track, this award was presented to Khebrah from Dubai National School Al Twar. Khebrah is a social media platform designed specifically for teenagers aged 15-21 to facilitate job searching and professional networking.
The ‘Best Social Impact’ Award for high schools went to M.O.M from Dubai National School Al Twar. M.O.M is an online platform that provides support services for mothers before, during, and after pregnancy. While the university prize was awarded to Tatee from Higher Colleges of Technology, which is a dedicated company to support the Arabic language, scribes, and calligraphy.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of Education, lauded the competition as it helps youth to unleash their potential. His Excellency noted that the UAE has always been proactive in empowering young entrepreneurs by offering them the optimal environment to hone their skills and contribute to building a better future.
“At the Ministry of Education, we believe that equipping youth with the skills and tools they need to succeed is essential to help them contribute effectively to boosting the UAE’s competitiveness and development process for years to come. I would like to congratulate all the students who participated in this year’s competition. We have witnessed awe-inspiring innovative projects, and I look forward to watching our youth continue the path of progress in various entrepreneurship disciplines,” His Excellency said.
In Partnership with Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy represented by H.E Ahmad Ahmad Bin Byat, Vice Chairman addressed the event with a speech focusing on the vast opportunities Dubai offers to innovators, and youth in particular, to grow in a digitally enabled environment.
He stated: “Dubai has created a welcoming environment for innovators, entrepreneurs, and disruptors. Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy offers support to ambitious people who wish to develop an idea, create change, or simply launch a company that utilizes technology to the full. Today’s competition and awards reflect the transformative force of the digital economy, which opens doors to endless possibilities, empowering individuals and driving economic growth in unprecedented ways.”
The competition was hosted alongside key collaborative strategic partners including Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Accenture, Honeywell, U.S. Mission to the UAE, Citi Foundation, ExxonMobil, UPS and The Caterpillar Foundation, who also made up the esteemed panel of judges. For the university competition track, judges included Kamal Benkabbou, Head of Markets for Middle East, Egypt, and Pakistan at Citi, and Kimberly James, Manager – Digital Economy Competitiveness & Research at Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy. While Abbas Panju, Managing Director, Middle East at UPS , Leigh-Ann Judd, Director of Marketing at Honeywell, and Begoña de Albornoz, Corporate Citizenship and Environment Lead – Middle East at Accenture; judged the high school track.
The CEO of the Year Award was judged by Taher Hamid, President of ExxonMobil Iraq and UAE for the high school track and Yasser AbdulMalak, MENA Chairman and CEO at Nestle for the university track.
Razan Bashiti, Chief Executive Officer of INJAZ UAE, commented: “With every edition of the National Company Program Competition, we continue to witness the incredible potential and creativity of today’s youth. It is an honour to be able to celebrate this year’s participants and see first-hand the impact our programs have held in the development of tomorrow’s leaders. Thank you to our students, volunteers, partners, judges, and guests for joining us in fostering entrepreneurial mindset seen today.”
The National Company Program sees classrooms transform to start-ups in 25 weeks, where students are offered advanced mentorship from key experts within the business community. By learning the complexities of running a business, financial literacy, and team building, students enhance their business skills and entrepreneurial knowledge. Designed to enrich the learning experience of participating students, the program provides a venue for students to bring their creative ideas to life by learning practical steps to start up their own entrepreneurial companies. Winners of the programme will go on to participate in INJAZ Al-Arab’s Young Entrepreneurship Competition.
To discover more about INJAZ UAE’s Company Program or to apply to take part in next year’s program visit: https://www.injazuae.org/.
About INJAZ UAE
INJAZ UAE delivers cutting-edge, experiential volunteer-based programs in work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. INJAZ UAE is dedicated to giving youth the knowledge and skills they need to plan their professional future and make smart academic and economic choices. INJAZ UAE’s programs help spark the learning in youth to experience the opportunities and realities of the global professional world in the 21st century. with schools, technical/ vocational centers and other partners, JA UAE reached 100,000 youth since inception. Learn more about us at https://www.injazuae.org/.
INJAZ UAE is a member of JA Worldwide (JAW) regionally known as INJAZ Al Arab (JA MENA) JAW is one of the world’s largest non-profit business education organizations, reaching over 15 million students a year in 115 countries. It serves as a nexus between the business community, educators and volunteers working together to empower young people to own their economic success.