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A 2015 Thomson Reuters study titled Digital Islamic Economy Report forecasts that the Islamic digital economy is set to grow at a CAGR of 17% by 2020, beating the growth of the global digital economy by almost 2%. The study also expects “sharing economy, social commerce, retail e-commerce, food logistics, and Islamic finance” sectors to contribute to this growth. With an objective to nurture and promote technology entrepreneurs during this growth phase of Islamic digital economy, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) and Thomson Reuters, along with the American Muslim Consumer Consortium, are conducting the Innovation 4 Impact 2016 competition on October 11-12, 2016 at Madinat Jumeirah, in Dubai. This is the second edition of the event, which was first launched at the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) 2015, and the challenge will run again this year alongside GIES 2016.
Image credit: Innovate 4 Impact Challenge.
According to the organizers, the competition aims to support small businesses catering to the digital component of Islamic economy, and “serve as an incubator” to create an environment for the SMEs to scale themselves. Though open to entrepreneurs and digital businesses from all backgrounds, the challenge will consider only those ventures that have an economic and social impact on the Islamic digital economy. Further, the business idea must relate to one of the following: e-commerce, mobile computing, cloud computing, big data, hyper-converged platforms, or news media/social media. After a detailed assessment process, selected startup finalists get an opportunity to showcase their business at the major government-backed event, and get a chance to gain from the expertise of business leaders and investors set to be present at the event. A cash prize of US$20,000, incubation services worth over $10,000, DSOA’s support for setting up business in Dubai, and a direct entry to pitch for funds to DSOA’s investment panel- all of these are what await the winning startups. The deadline for submission of application is August 15, 2016- so hurry up with your nomination!