Dubai SME invites special needs groups and productive families to Young Entrepreneur Competition


Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has invited special needs students and those from productive families to participate in this year’s Young Entrepreneur Competition (YEC 2013), being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

The move, which is part of expanding the social coverage of YEC, follows a meeting between the Ministry of Social Affairs and YEC organisers. It is for the first time that productive families will enter the competition. The YEC organising committee has also stated that every participant should abide by the rules and regulations of the competition.

The YEC organisers met with the Ministry of Social Affairs as part of increasing public awareness of the competition and attracting wider participation, to allow the maximum number of students to utilise the event to take their entrepreneurial talent to the next level.

The meeting was attended by co-ordinators and heads of different committees of YEC as well as senior managers in charge of special needs students and family welfare at the Ministry. The successful participation of special needs students in YEC last year and the encouraging visitor response they received were also discussed during the meeting.

Nisrin Mohammed Al Harmoodi, General Coordinator of YEC, said: “We are delighted to see students from enterprising families joining us this year along with special needs students who have been a strong component of YEC in the past. The Ministry of Social Affairs has provided us invaluable help in bringing more and more such social groups on board.”

Al Harmoodi added that YEC is a good opportunity for special needs students to showcase their talent and compete within the wider student community to prove that they are as good as anyone.

“Last year YEC had around 20 diverse products including kidswear, perfumes, traditional artifacts and accessories, displayed by special needs students. We expect at least 50 per cent more special needs students to be at YEC 2013, chiefly since the competition is also being held in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah this year in addition to Dubai,” said Al Harmoodi.

Yousuf Lootah, Head of Public Relations for YEC commented: “The Young Entrepreneur Competition is a significant value-add to special needs students and productive families as it provides a worthwhile experience in the real world of business and in starting and marketing a business. Last year we had, Ajman Handicapp Center, Dubai Handicapp Center, Al Amal School for the Deaf, The Sheikha Maitha Bint Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Special Needs and Dubai Centre for Special Needs as participants in YEC and this year we expect a greater level of participation from all sections of the student community.”

YEC aims to inculcate entrepreneurial spirit among students in the public and private secondary schools and universities across the UAE. High school (grade 10) and university students in the 15-25 age group can participate in the event. The maximum number of students in each project should not exceed four. A project team can have students from different schools, colleges or universities.

A four-day exhibition of YEC 2013 projects will be organised in Abu Dhabi (3-6 April), Ras Al Khaimah (10-13 April) and in Dubai (17-20 April).

For more information on YEC 2013, call 800 SME (763) or email YEC 2013 is also on,, and


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