Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of Dubai Chamber, and Dubai Technology Entrepreneurs Campus (Dtec) – a Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority wholly owned entity, recently concluded second edition of the Emirati Development Programme, which saw Sherina Al Sowaidi of Liftoff named as the winner of this year’s programme competition.
Al Sowaidi competed alongside 26 other UAE startups during the final stage of the programme. The finalists, who presented their smart business concepts to an expert panel, are now eligible to start and launch their businesses after receiving support and guidance. She will receive additional business acceleration support from programme organizers, including joining Dtec programme for startups for a year which includes providing training, guidance and mentorship.
The programme offers participants access to internship opportunities with leading companies from the private sector, including DHL; Oliver Wyman; and International Consultant Law Office (ICLO); complimentary company setup with Dtec; Complimentary 3-month access to Dtec co-working; as well as the opportunity to exhibit at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Hans Christensen, Vice President of Dtec, said: “Our collaboration with Dubai Chamber on the Emirati Development Programme follows a series of joint initiatives between the two entities. It is also in line with the strategies of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Dtec aimed at instilling an entrepreneurial culture, especially in promising tech sectors that have gained traction recently with the spread of new digital-based work, education, and communication cultures.”
Noting that SMEs make up 94 percent of the companies operating in the UAE and employ more than 86 percent of the country’s workforce, the Emirati Development Programme will reflect positively on the national economy, Hans highlighted that the joint efforts of Dtec and Dubai Chamber support entrepreneurs and innovators to establish flexible startups that can attract investments and funding, helping them launch and expand.
Natalia Sycheva, Senior Manager of Special Projects and Entrepreneurship, Dubai Chamber noted that the Emirati Development Programme is a key strategy of the Chamber’s efforts to support entrepreneurship, talents and innovative ideas from the Emirati youth, adding that it contributes to establishing a new generation of entrepreneurs who are able to compete and achieve their goals and business ideas successfully.
Sycheva pointed out that all the programme’s participants have demonstrated exceptional abilities and qualitative skills in doing business that can support them as they enter the labor market an develop their own businesses.
The participants also took part in training sessions covering various topics of interest, which was led by experts from Dtec; LinkedIn; International Consultant Law Office (ICLO); Intelligent Finance Consultants (IFC); LPS Brands; and Think Media Labs (TMLs). The training focused on how to establish and promote the growth of technology businesses, the importance of sales to emerging entrepreneurs, in addition to how to develop and present an effective investor pitch presentation.
The Emirati Development Programme aims to encourage UAE nationals capitalise on private sector jobs opportunities by identifying and developing their skills through specialised training, while providing them with the right support for starting their own business ventures.
Established by Dubai Chamber in 2016, Dubai Startup Hub is the first initiative of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region. The initiative is designed to emphasis the value of public and private sector collaboration and embodies the aim of encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship as a main driver of the economy of Dubai and the UAE.
The Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus is the largest hub of its kind that is committed to supporting technology startups in the Middle East. Dtec is home to more than 1,000 startups from 75 countries, many which specialize in advanced technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence applications. In a bid to promote and attract technology-focused startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators, Dtec is committed to providing advanced facilities to startups and entrepreneurs that are engaged in developing innovative solutions including state-of-the-art co-working spaces, access to accelerators, VC fund, business support, consultancy services and participation in events among many other value-added services and support.