Under the patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has launched the 8th cycle of the 'Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders' (YBL).
Registrations for the award can be done on the website smeawards.ae till September 2013.
The YBL Award, the first of its kind in the region, aims at creating a competitive environment amongst the young entrepreneurs in the UAE and the Arab countries. It also recognises those individuals and organisations who have aided in the development of entrepreneurs in the UAE and the Arab world. For the first time the entire registration process, including submission of supporting documents, will be done online this year.
The Awards include the following categories: Entrepreneurial Awards in the UAE in for SMEs in four sub-categories - Manufacturing, Services, Trading, Home-based Business in Dubai (Intelaq); Entrepreneurial Awards for Arab SMEs in three sub-categories - Manufacturing, Services, Trading; and Entrepreneurial Personality of The Year in the UAE and the Arab countries (by nomination). The Best community Service Initiative and the Best Innovative Business will also be entitled to YBL awards.
Best Supporting Entity to the Government Procurement Programme in the UAE government, semi-government and private sectors; Best Supporting Bank and Best Organisation Supporting SME initiatives (by nomination) will be named in the Supporting Organisation Awards (UAE) category.
The Arab world category of Supporting Organisation Awards will have the following sub-categories: 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.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, commented: "The Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders has seen growing interest and participation since its launch in 2003. The Award reflects our leadership's vision to advance the SME sector and acknowledge the contributions of individuals and organisations not only in the UAE but also in the Arab world towards SME growth." Ibtihal Al Naji, General Coordinator of the Award, added: "YBL has a unique standing as recognition of SME commitment, chiefly because of the diligence and transparency maintained in the evaluation and shortlisting processes. The Award plays a major role in enhancing SME competitiveness and service quality in the UAE and the Arab world. It is also a significant component of the SME development strategy of Dubai SME today." 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 citizens. 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 years and above.
Applicants should submit a project summary (brief on the business or personal experience in managing the project); audited financial report for the last two years (for Established businesses) or internal financial report (for Home-based businesses in Dubai and Start-up businesses); trade license copy valid for at least three months; valid passport copy of the owner and partners, if any, and photographs and brochures as available on the business operations, equipment and machines.
The evaluation of the applications progresses through different stages such as application stage, preliminary short listing, site visits, second stage short listing, and panel interview before the final results are announced. After each stage the applicants will be informed whether their applications have been qualified for the next stage or not.