Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has started assessing entries for the Smartpreneur Competition recently launched in cooperation with the Smart Dubai Office with the aim to strengthen the role of entrepreneurs in transforming Dubai into a “smart city.”

At the recent closure of the participation date, Dubai Chamber received 350 innovative ideas from the competitors out of which 48 qualified for the final phase of evaluation which will be held under the supervision of a specialised committee of judges drawn from the Smart Dubai Office and Dubai Chamber.

These qualifying participants attended two full day workshops on sector-specific training, mentorship, building relationships and developing a full business plan for the next phase of assessment from experts in the field. Out of these 48, 10 competitors will be shortlisted and three finalists selected.

The first three winners will get a cash prize and the opportunity to join Tejar Dubai entrepreneurship development programme for a year which will help them turn their business ideas into reality. The competition was open for all UAE-based entrepreneurs and required them to submit their business ideas in line with the Smart Dubai dimensions including smart economy, smart living, smart mobility, smart governance, smart environment, and smart people.

Said H.E. Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office, “The competition which is now in its final stages, has provided a fitting platform for innovative individuals to think out of the box and come up with fresh ideas which are also in line with the dimensions of the objectives of the Smart Dubai initiative and will go a long way in supporting the emirate’s transformation to a global smart city leader.”

Essa Al Zaabi, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Support Sector, Dubai Chamber, and General Coordinator of Tejar Dubai, informed that the competition saw an overwhelming response as the number of entries exceeded our expectations thus bringing forth a number of innovative ideas which will contribute to the business environment of Dubai while enhancing the emirate’s transformation into a smart city. This also reflects on the entrepreneurs’ role as the drivers of the future economic growth of Dubai, he said.

Al Zaabi added that the Chamber strives to stimulate creativity and innovation in the private sector through various innovative programmes for enhancing customer happiness and as part of the UAE’s post-oil strategy for the growth of economic sectors and industries based on innovation and excellence, therefore the Chamber is working with its partners to support this trend through initiatives like the Smartpreneur Competition which promotes smart business among young entrepreneurs.

With its commitment to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which emphasises that entrepreneurship is the shortest route to a bright future, the Smartpreneur Competition is designed with the aim to provide upcoming entrepreneurs the opportunity and inspiration to be part of Dubai’s transformation to a global benchmark smart city while also supporting the vision of Smart Dubai to make Dubai the happiest city on earth through technology innovation.

All applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria including the problem the business addresses in a large or growing market opportunity, if the idea has a value proposition and identifies customers’ need for the product or service in line with the market and competitive landscape and if it supports one of the Smart Dubai dimensions. Also, if the team demonstrates passion about their idea, and if they have a thorough and credible execution plan along with the idea’s Business Model, its revenue generation methods as well as its financial growth projections.