Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has introduced seven new categories for the UAE and Arab world to the 7th cycle of the ‘Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders’ (YBL), thus taking the total number of award categories to 27.
The new categories were added to build on the success achieved by the YBL Award since its inception in 2003, and in view of its growing popularity among local and regional entrepreneurs as well as its role in supporting the SME sector. The first of its kind award in the region aims to create a competitive environment amongst the young entrepreneurs in the UAE and the Arab world.
The new categories for the Arab World awards include Best Higher Education Institution Promoting Entrepreneurship, Best Mentor Network, Best Entrepreneurship Development Fund for Women, Best Entrepreneurship Development Fund, Most SME-Friendly Bank, and Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative in Entrepreneurship Development. A new award for the Best Organisation Supporting SME Initiatives has also been added to the UAE categories of the award.
The entrepreneurial awards for UAE SMEs are in the Manufacturing, Services, Trading, Home-based Business in Dubai (Intelaq) and the Entrepreneurial Personality of the Year (male and female) categories.
“The jury has shortlisted 27 candidates within the UAE for the 12 award categories based on the company's sales, innovations, marketing strategies and future vision. A critical decider in this cycle of the award will be the growth rate achieved by the organisation as reflected in its annual report. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony, to be held on December 12,” said Ibtihal Al Naji, General Coordinator of the YBL Award.
Al Naji added: “Dubai SME has carefully chosen an expert jury to ensure transparency and impartiality in selecting the winners. The jury members on their part have identified the deserving candidates, in addition to monitoring the entire award process starting with the registration.”
The number of individuals and organisations participating in the YBL Award has continued to increase since its inception in 2003, parallel with the growth in the number of SMEs in the UAE. It also reflects the growing interest among SME owners, including Dubai SME members and home-based businesses operating under the Intelaq license, to highlight their accomplishments.
To be eligible for the YBL Awards, a business should be legally registered and be based and/or operating in the UAE or the Arab country of origin, in addition to being fully owned by nationals. The age of the business should be as follows: Home-based business (Intelaq) in Dubai – up to three years; Start-up business – six months to two years; Established business – two to seven years.