The Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development has reached out to an unprecedented number of Emiratis in its efforts to promote entrepreneurship among young UAE nationals.
Akoun reaches out to Emirati entrepreneurs
More than 2,000 Emiratis aged between 18 and 30 took part in workshops across the UAE that advised them on setting up their own businesses - the most since the programme was launched four years ago.
The "Akoun entrepreneurship awareness campaign" also received a record 148 submissions for a business ideas competition.
"Since we launched the initiative four years ago, we have developed and widened our campaign to encourage as many young Emiratis as possible to consider entrepreneurship and the rewards it can bring," said Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, the council's director general.
The workshops were held at 23 UAE universities. Participants in the competition stand the chance of winning prizes of Dh25,000, Dh15,000 and Dh10,000 for the business ideas they submitted.
The first, second and third prize will be handed out in each emirate, as well as in Al Ain and the Western Region.
Apart from financial aid, the winners will also receive practical advice and guidance to help them to set up their business.
"The entries received are diverse and contain original ideas.
"Akoun, with the support of our partners, is an ideal platform from which students can turn their business ideas into reality, with the full support and guidance of experts in the field," said Mr Al Raqbani.
The council's partners for the Akoun initiative are Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders, the Entrepreneurs Forum, the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Ruwad Establishment, the Western Region Development Council, Khalifa Fund, twofour54 and the Department of Economic Development.
"The huge success of this campaign is a testimony that Emirati university graduates are becoming more and more interested in setting up their own businesses after graduation," said Mr Al Raqbani.