WAFI to host Young Entrepreneur Competition 2012

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WAFI will allocate 100,000 sq. ft. to set up 1,000 kiosks for YEC 2012 participants

Exhibition will be open during mall operational hours from 28-31 March

Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development for small and medium enterprise sector, has joined hands with WAFI to host the ‘Young Entrepreneur Competition 2012’ exhibition. The exhibition will allow participants in this year’s competition, currently in its eighth cycle, to showcase their business models in specially designated kiosks across WAFI from March 28 to 31.

YEC aims to inculcate and promote entrepreneurial spirit among the younger generation in the UAE. 3,000 students from public and private secondary schools and universities in the UAE are participating in the competition this year.

WAFI has allocated 100,000 square-foot of premium space spread over the ground floor, level 1 and common areas of the mall to set up as many as 1,000 kiosks for the to display their wares and innovations. The kiosks will remain open throughout the mall operational hours – 10am to 10pm – providing potential entrepreneurs a high-value four-day exposure in one of the premier shopping and leisure destinations in the UAE.
WAFI has also announced a range of benefits for participants and their families, including discounted accommodation in the Raffles Dubai Hotel and exclusive offers in the food and beverage outlets across the mall in connection with the exhibition.
“Dubai SME has seen a growing interest in YEC ever since we launched the annual event in 2005. It is now a milestone in the UAE’s entrepreneurial landscape that continues to attract fresh talent and innovations. Dubai SME is delighted to welcome WAFI as our partner this year as it is a significant addition to our growing network for entrepreneurship development,” commented Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME.
Abdullah Ibrahim, Director of Local Affairs, Wafi Group said: “We are delighted to host the Young Entrepreneur Competition 2012 exhibition as it brings together as many as 1,000 projects and a large number of young men and women to display their products and creative ideas in line with the highest standards of business and global marketing. YEC represents a remarkable strategy to build a new generation of people who can achieve their ambitions in the field of business through creativity, innovation and global thinking.”
“From 49 projects and 114 participants in 2005 YEC has steadily advanced to reach 3,000 participants and 1,000 projects in 2012. The competition provides a key measure of the entrepreneurial talent in the UAE and a pointer to the future of entrepreneurship in the region,” said Nisrin Safar, General Co-ordinator of YEC.

The exhibition will feature a range of projects spanning fashion, fine arts, handicrafts, traditional or heritage products, health products excluding medicines, environmental awareness products (recycling, renewable energy), educational material (games, tools, modern teaching aids), interior design, cultural activities, and information technology.

du, a major promoter of entrepreneurial development initiatives in the UAE and sponsor of the Young Entrepreneur Competition for the third year in a row, will be a major presence at the exhibition. Coming close on the heels of du announcing a Dh 1 million reality show for budding entrepreneurs in the UAE, the exhibition will see the telecom operator setting up its own kiosks to allow university students to have a first-hand experience of retailing telecom products and services.

YEC follows an innovative format that enables contestants to gain comprehensive understanding of the business environment and test their skills in a real world of competitive business. The competition has had remarkable success in educating students on the basic principles of starting and operating a private business.

A jury comprising specialists from Dubai SME and external agencies will observe and evaluate the projects and select the winners depending on creativity, innovation, marketing and customer service. Winners will be honoured later by Dubai SME.

For more information on YEC 2012, call 800 SME (763)

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