du and Dubai Internet City felicitate ‘Grow Your Business – Regional Competition and Awards’ winners

du and Dubai Internet City, co-sponsors of the Grow Your Business – Regional Competition and Awards’, jointly presented the contest’s three winning SMEs with their prizes during a ceremony held on 12 December at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit – Entrepreneurial Ventures of Arabia (GES-EVA).

The Grand Prize winner was Marwan Ziadat, Founder and CEO  for the project Darebni TV and the runner ups were Ala Alsallal, Founder and CEO of Jamalon- a Jordan-based online book store, Tarek Mansour, CEO of  Made in my Villa.

They were presented their awards by Ahmad Bin Byat, Chairman, du and Osman Sultan, CEO, du, and Malek Al Malek, Managing Director, Dubai Internet City (DIC) and Dubai Outsource Zone.

The ‘Grow Your Business – Regional Competition and Awards’ was held in conjunction with the third Global Entrepreneurship Summit, to support fast-growing small and medium enterprises (SMEs).  Prior to the awards ceremony, eight companies were shortlisted by the judging panel, that included John Lincoln, Vice President, Marketing (Enterprise Segment), du. From these eight, three leaders were chosen, with the top prize winner winning a cash prize of AED 100,000, while the two runners-up each receiving AED 50,000. All three will receive an office business set-up package.

“Congratulations to today’s winners. The ideas they presented to the panel of judges were as inspiring as they were full of potential, as well as being an exciting demonstration of the entrepreneurial talent and capability that our region is capable of,” said Bin Byat. “The ‘Grow Your Business – Regional Competition and Awards’ and the GES-EVA summit have brought a new dimension to the Middle East’s SME ecosystem, by opening doors and minds to the possibilities that this vital sector can harness. This has been a landmark event for Dubai, and it is my hope that many local entrepreneurs have drawn inspiration from the talented pool of successful businessmen and women who have shared their thoughts and ideas over the past two days.”

Osman Sultan, CEO, du, spoke at a panel discussion titled ‘Why Corporates Need to Make Entrepreneurship a CSR Act?’ on 12 December.  Loulou Khazen Baz,Founder and CEO of nabbesh.com and the winner of du’s ‘The Entrepreneur’, was a panel member for ‘Success Story – Changing Entrepreneur Profile‘, also on 12 December.

In conjunction with this, Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME). It held an awards ceremony for the seventh cycle of the ‘Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders’ (YBL) to felicitate companies that were supportive of the Government Procurement programme by sourcing goods and services from approved UAE national SMEs.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,Dubai Crown Prince presented Ahmed bin Byat, Chairman, and Osman Sultan, CEO, du with an award for Best Supporting Partner for SMEs in appreciation for the company’s continuous support of the awards, and of entrepreneurs in general.

As a staunch supporter of SMEs in the UAE, du has an extensive history as an active advocate for entrepreneurs across the country. In its efforts to support start-up businesses, the telecom has put in place a special procurement programme to encourage sourcing from Young Business Leaders vendors. Ever since du joined the programme almost a year and a half ago, its spend through SMEs suppliers has exceeded AED 10 million.

It’s also worth mentioning that among its many other initiatives, du has partnered with business incubator Shelter for the past three years, in addition to supporting The Young Entrepreneur competition since 2010. The telecom also created ‘The Entrepreneur’, the region’s first reality television business show aimed specifically at aiding the UAE’s SMEs, which recently crowned its winner in the November finale of its first season.

As well as encouraging entrepreneurs through supporting and creating engagement initiatives, du has developed tailor-made solutions, such as the Her Business Super Plan and The Entrepreneur Plan, to continually support SMEs and their unique communications needs.