The annual competition honoured the tenacity and innovation of student companies from across the emirates…reports Asian Lite News
INJAZ UAE, a member of INJAZ Al-Arab and Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, the world’s largest non-profit business education organisation, held the 13th edition of the National Company Program Competition Awards Ceremony, celebrating the culmination of eight months of experiential learning and application based on Junior Achievement’s internationally acclaimed Company Program.
Held in the presence of UAE’s Minister of State for Youth HE Shamma bint Sohail Faris Al Mazrui, the ceremony saw hundreds of students from across the Emirates come together to compete for a series of awards in front of an esteemed panel of judges. Judging the High School Track, the panel included Khaled Chidiac, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim – Global Solutions, Faisal Belhoul, Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Renée McGowan, Mercer’s President, Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA). While the University track was judged by Mohammad Hilal, CEO, Hilal Group as well as Jagadeshwaran K, Managing Director – Treasury & Trade Solutions, MENAPT Transaction Services, Citi Dubai, UAE.
Opening the event through a keynote speech, HE Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth, UAE, commented: “Youth are bravely and continuously disrupting the notion that they are too young to venture into business” and that life should only happen in a certain order. Today, we celebrate the disruption of this notion, and the young people who stood behind it with the support of INJAZ who believed in their potential and helped them bring out the hidden gems inside each one of them, their curiosity, creativity, and courage to put their ideas out there despite the challenge.”
Today’s celebration was about paving the road for many innovative, disruptive, miraculous generations to come. For every time youth showcase their capabilities and their contribution to sustainable development, they inspire thousands of young people, adults, and communities.
This year’s awards included the prestigious ‘Company of the Year’ award, which was presented to Join Me within the high school track from Dubai National School Al Barsha, for their safe digital female community that introduces females to a diverse world of connections with other females of similar interests (Joinists) in which they share ideas and social activities that encourages them to advance their career, build a personal brand and have a voice while forming connections with other Joinists.. While for the university track, Brains To Business, from American University of Sharjah received this award for their platform that brings businesses and students together. Students apply what they learn in the classroom to come up with practical solutions to solve real-life problems faced by businesses.
Other awards on the day included Product of the Year, which was awarded to high school track’s SE2F, from Emirates American School, for their website that is working as an intermediary between High school students and higher education institutions around the UAE.
Best Social Impact went to Voluntree, from Dubai National School Twar, within the high school track, for their website/app based community that connects volunteers, business employees and volunteering opportunities.
The coveted award for CEO of the Year was evaluated and presented by Christian Lenoble, President of ExxonMobil Al Khaleej honoured High School Student Alreem Al Muhairi , and Mohamed Khalfan from Higher Colleges of Technology – Sharjah.
The 13th edition of the competition saw two new unique Signature awards being added to the competition. SNAP Tech Visionaries Award in partnership with Snap, recognized student companies that had best utilized Technology in their product or service design and implementation and was presented by Vishal Badiani, Snap’s Regional Creative Strategy Manager, Middle East & North Africa granted to Company Virtual-i from Al Rashid Al Saleh Private School. and 6th Sense from Higher Colleges of Technology, Sharjah.
Honeywell’s Signature Award “Business Strategy Award” was presented by Tushar Choudhury and recognized student companies that demonstrated the Best Business Development Strategy. Presented to SE2F from High School and Brains To Business from Uni.
Speaking at this year’s competition, Razan Bashiti, Chief Executive Officer of INJAZ UAE, commented, “”UAE is spearheading a youth-led economic renaissance designed to empower young generations with the tools and knowledge to become the business visionaries we all aspire to follow. We are grateful for the continuous support of UAE’s private and public sectors in helping INJAZ become part of this entrepreneurial awakening.
Faisal Belhoul, Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce, congratulated the winners and participants of the prestigious programme, which he said reflects the strong entrepreneurial spirit that exists in the UAE, as well as talented and business-minded youth with bold ambitions. He stressed the role played by Dubai Chamber of Commerce in adopting a strategy that supports the development of SMEs and entrepreneurs, who he described as a backbone of Dubai’s economy, adding that the Chamber’s partnership with INJAZ-UAE is designed to effectively engage and empower the next generation of business leaders.
Hosted in collaboration with key partners, the National Company Program sees classrooms transform to start-ups in 25 weeks, where students are offered advanced mentorship from key experts within the business community. By learning the complexities of running a business, financial literacy, and team building, students enhance their business skills and entrepreneurial knowledge. Designed to enrich the learning experience of participating students, the program provides a venue for students to bring their creative ideas to life by learning practical steps to start up their own entrepreneurial companies.