Award is a catalyst in creating a competitive environment to nurture entrepreneurs and establish a culture of leadership and innovation
United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, 30th July 2013: The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development has announced the launch of the fourth edition of Khalifa Fund Award for Entrepreneurship, in line with its goal of instilling a strong spirit of entrepreneurship and fostering a culture of leadership. This in turn will empower entrepreneurs to upgrade their investments and projects, under the umbrella of the development plans and strategies adopted by the government of Abu Dhabi.
The Award is a catalyst for the widespread adoption of entrepreneurial values, creating an environment of positive competition among owners of small and medium enterprises. It will serve as a stimulus for the concepts of creativity and innovation, thereby strengthening candidates' capabilities. By encouraging and assisting entrepreneurs to transform their innovations into financially viable projects, the business community will be better positioned to support the development process and evolution of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
HE Abdullah Saeed Al Darmaki, Chief Executive Officer of the Khalifa Fund, commented: 'Our launch of the fourth edition of this prestigious award reflects our ambitious vision and embodies our commitment to facilitating knowledge transfer among entrepreneurs. This will cultivate a strong spirit of competitiveness, leading to stronger entrepreneurial skills, greater efficiency and more prudent investments. The SME sector plays a pivotal role in our economy, and helps to consolidate the emirate's position as a magnet for smart entrepreneurship in the region.”
He added: 'To ensure complete transparency and credibility in the selection of winners, the jury will base their decisions on a comprehensive criteria evaluating the business owners' entrepreneurial skills, personal attributes and project excellence in terms of quality, profitability, growth, expansion and application of best practices in entrepreneurship.”
According to HE Al Darmaki, the jury consists of highly respected representatives from Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, a national bank and an economic organisation. The judging committee's responsibilities include sorting the applications, conducting the initial evaluation of candidates' submissions, visiting the projects on-site, interviewing the owners and conducting the final screening before announcing the results.
The Khalifa Fund's Entrepreneurs Award rewards the best projects categorized under six programs: Bedaya program, Zeyada program, Khutwa program, Heritage sector, Membership program and the Best Emirati Project for non-beneficiaries of the Fund's services.
Applicants can submit their applications until 29th august 2013, and the winning projects will be announced during a special ceremony on 7th October 2013. Appreciation certificates, shields and souvenirs will be presented to selected participants. The best project in the Heritage sector and the Best Emirati Project will be awarded cash prizes.
During the ceremony, the Fund will announce the government agencies that are most supportive of SMEs, based on purchase volumes. HE Al Darmaki also noted that the Fund will urge governmental and semi-governmental entities as well as prominent captains of industry to champion entrepreneurship by allocating a portion of their purchases to the SME sector in order to ensure continuity and support national prosperity.
About Khalifa Fund
The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development was created in June 2007 as an independent agency of the Government of Abu Dhabi, and has now amassed AED2 Billion in capital to fulfill the various requirements of entrepreneurs. The Fund has established a comprehensive program to expand entrepreneurs' business projects, in order to cultivate an appropriate business-enabling environment and to enhance the capabilities of potential entrepreneurs.
The Fund uses a modern assistance and support services system that includes training, development, access to market intelligence and consultancy services as well as developing various marketing initiatives.
In addition, the Fund provides various financial solutions for promising enterprises that may serve the national economy in the form of programs such as Khutwa, Bedaya, Zeyada and Tasneea, which are made available to all types of SMEs.
The Khalifa Fund has also launched socio-economic initiatives such as Sougha, which aims to preserve the Emirati heritage; Al Radda, the UAE's first program for prison inmates; and Ishraq for patients recovering from addiction at the national rehabilitation center.