HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has announced AED 2 million in financial rewards to the top 100 projects in the Young Entrepreneur Competition 2012 (YEC 2012), organised by Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.

The rewards, announced after the conclusion of the Young Entrepreneur Competition exhibition, comes as part of Sheikh Hamdan’s support for the youth and initiatives that enhance the role of the youth in national development.

HH Al Maktoum stressed the keenness of the leadership in Dubai to develop entrepreneurial spirit among the younger generations, channel their creativity and guide them in launching and managing their own business projects, eventually enabling them to contribute to economic development in Dubai.

Sheikh Hamdan also praised the innovation and creativity behind the projects contesting in YEC 2012, adding that the contest is an ideal platform to advance entrepreneurial ideas.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME said: “We thank His Highness Sheikh Hamdan for his support to initiatives focusing on advancing youth talent and creativity. His generosity and trust will inspire the youth in the country to make the best use of their skills and help drive national development.”

The Young Entrepreneur Competition, currently in its eighth cycle, was launched by Dubai SME as part of its commitment to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to sow the seeds of entrepreneurship among the younger generations at a very early age. Nurturing business skills among the youth also aligns with Dubai SME’s mandate to develop the SME sector.

YEC aims to inspire and enable the younger generations to become entrepreneurs in the future by introducing them to the foundations of entrepreneurship and a real world of business to compete. The competition allows students to learn the basic principles of starting and operating a business and also apply them in an innovative market place.

Over 700 projects conceived by 2,500 students from secondary schools and universities across the UAE participated in the four-day exhibition held as part of the competition this year. The exhibition featured 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.

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