Dubai SME, the entrepreneurship development agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), launched the “Young Entrepreneur Competition 2011 (YEC)” exhibition in Dubai Mall, March 28th under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.


More than 2,500 young entrepreneurs are showcasing their projects in the exhibition, which is also supported by Du and Dubai Mall.


The exhibition is part of the Young Entrepreneur Competition (YEC), aimed at reinforcing entrepreneurial skills and aptitude among students in high schools, colleges and universities across the UAE. The competition will focus on providing insights into the comprehensive business environment of Dubai in order to encourage students to start their own businesses and drive innovations within a competitive environment.


“This strategic initiative is a strong platform to create a new business culture for young entrepreneurs and help them achieve their goals. The Young Entrepreneur Competition will further boost the SME sector in Dubai, thereby enhancing economic growth in the UAE”, His Excellency Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.


“The event reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to develop the performance of the SME sector to be major supporter to the economic development in Dubai,” Al Janahi added.


Al Janahi commended the remarkable support extended by Du and Dubai Mall to the YEC exhibition during successive years and said it showed a high level of commitment and social responsibility among national organisations to encouraging young leaders.


“The exhibition this year is focusing on skills of the participants in displaying their products professionally and according to modern standards adopted in marketing as well as managing the business, and on how to deal with customers and promote their products,” said Nisreen Safar, General Coordinator of the competition.


“Participants in this year’s exhibition were trained to pursue their projects with confidence and build successful businesses in the future in order to equip them with the necessary tools to cope with the challenges ahead. All projects submitted in the competition were evaluated as per global quality standards,” Safar added.

His Excellency Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME

Dubai SME recently conducted an introductory workshop for the participants to strengthen awareness about the exhibition, brief them on the new standards and provide details about the competition. Ten top-ranked projects will be named as winners in the competition.


Over the years, YEC has succeeded in encouraging entrepreneurial spirit among young UAE nationals. The contest also helps to build awareness among participants on the concept of small and medium enterprises and various business environments.



The Young Entrepreneur Competition was originally launched in 2005 with 49 projects and 114 participants participating in the inaugural event. It went up to 73 projects and 215 participants in 2006, 99 projects and 364 participants in 2007, 102 projects and 103 participants in 2008 and 279 projects and 971 participants in 2009.  Last year saw an overwhelming participation in the competition with 2000 participants and 700 projects.'

Michael Byrne

Before joining SME Advisor as an Assistant Editor in 2010 I obtained a Bachelors Civil Law Degree (Hons) from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, in 2005. I worked as a trainee lawyer in Dublin, Ireland, specialising in defence litigation and criminal law before obtaining a Masters in International Journalism from the University of Cardiff in 2009. At present I am the Editor of SME Advisor Middle East, which is a publication within the CPI Business Group. You can follow me on twitter: @mikey_byrne or @SMEadvisorME. Also, you can join me on Linkedin (Mike Byrne) or at (SME Advisor).