Khalifa Fund and Dubai SME organize workshop for Pitch@Palace UAE

Saturday 29 June 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), in cooperation with Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, organized a workshop aimed at encouraging more Emirati entrepreneurs to take part in the 3rd edition of the Pitch@Palace UAE competition. The workshop, which was recently held at the Hamdan Innovation Incubator of Dubai SME, was attended by several Emirati entrepreneurs and SME owners.

The workshop was organized as part of the strategic cooperation between KFED and Dubai SME, which demonstrates the government entities’ efforts in developing partnerships to support and spread the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the UAE. The workshop provided the participants with a platform to learn more about the competition and its various stages, as well as meeting Abdulla Al Shimmari, one of the competition’s second edition winners and qualifiers of the Pitch@Palace Global 2018, to learn from his experience.

Mouza Al Nasri, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Khalifa Fund, commended the robust ties between the Fund and Dubai SME which led to the collaborative effort to promote the 3rd edition of the Pitch@Palace UAE competition. She noted the importance of coordination between the various federal and local government entities and the private sector to enhance the contribution of entrepreneurship to the national economy and support young citizens to achieve their dreams and aspirations and turn their creative ideas into reality.

Al Nasri added that the workshop was an ideal platform to boost the communication with Emirati entrepreneurs and answer all their inquiries about the competition, its objectives and the application process.

Saeed Al Marri, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, highlighted his organization’s keenness to reinforce collaborations with its partners, particularly with Khalifa Fund, which aims to promote entrepreneurship. He pointed out that Dubai SME is eager to preserve its strategic cooperation with KFED, especially in the holding of various activities that support entrepreneurship in the UAE, including Pitch@Palace UAE, which offers young Emirati citizens an opportunity to achieve their ideas and support their professional ambitions.

Al Marri added that Dubai SME encourages coordination with several government entities that work on launching initiatives aimed at promoting awareness among young people about the importance of self-employment, and that the organization is fully ready to provide support for such constructive initiatives.

The ‘Pitch@Palace UAE’ was launched in 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Force, in the presence of H.R.H Prince Andrew, Duke of York in the United Kingdom. Khalifa Fund has been organizing the initiative in the country in line with its efforts to promote entrepreneurship, instil a culture of innovation and support Emirati youth in their journey to advance and transform creative ideas into successful projects. The competition is a platform for local entrepreneurs and innovators to showcase their projects to consultants, investors and business leaders to win support and grow their SMEs.

The competition is open to all Emirati entrepreneurs and teams that include at least one UAE national among its members. The Emirati member will showcase the team’s project to a select group of judges. This year's competition focuses on the theme ‘Technology Serving Humans’, which highlights the importance of science and technology. Participants are encouraged to explore the potentials of technology such as information and communications technology, robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence in providing solutions to people’s daily lives.

The 3rd edition of ‘Pitch@Palace UAE’ aims to enhance communication between the UAE and other major markets. The winners will be invited to participate in the ‘Pitch@Palace Global’ program, which will be held at St James's Palace in December 2019. The Fund has recently announced that the competition has opened and the deadline for applications submission will be on July 31, 2019.

The first round of the competition’s On Tour events will take place in Abu Dhabi on September 16, while the second round will be held on September 18 in Dubai. A boot camp for the qualified participants will run for two consecutive days from October 6 to 7, while the closing ceremony of the competition will be held on October 9, 2019 in the presence of government officials, economic and professional figures at the local and international levels.

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