ABU DHABI // Emiratis are being encouraged to develop ideas for new businesses in a competition that will award up to US$50,000 (Dh183,660) for the best concept. The winner will receive cash, plus a three-day trip to Manchester Business School in England, which will help further develop the proposal. The Khalifa Fund to Support and Develop Small and Medium Enterprises and the Manchester school say they expect hundreds of applications in the contest, which is open to UAE nationals over the age of 20.
Nigel Banister, chief executive of Manchester Business School Worldwide, which has a branch in Dubai, said promoting entrepreneurship would help the UAE recover from the effects of the global economic downturn. "In terms of the speed of economic recovery, one factor is how entrepreneurial and enterprising [people are]," he said. "I have no doubt there will be a wide range of ideas that will attract appropriate venture capital funding to enable those who have got these ideas to take them forward, driving the local economy forward."
Mr Banister said he was particularly keen to receive applications in areas such as engineering, as these were areas that could be of interest to the Government. The Higher Colleges of Technology, a federal university, and Abu Dhabi Education Council are partners in the award. The winner will receive £3,000 cash (US$4,865), and organisers hope to increase that to US$50,000 through sponsorship, with the money being used to bring the proposal to market. Four runner-up prizes of $10,000 will be awarded.
The deadline to apply is September 30, with applicants having almost a further month to submit the final proposal. firstname.lastname@example.org