Now seems to be the right time for the aspiring entrepreneurs of the Arab region to take a leap of faith with a business idea that they have always wanted to execute. Under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Arab Youth Center has launched the Arab Youth Startup Marketplace (AYSM), a platform that strives to create a supportive community of aspiring Arab startups and entrepreneurs. The aspiring youth entrepreneurs in the Arab world can thus stand to gain from AYSM’s core objectives of creating a space to “showcase innovations, exchange knowledge, and empower the youth.” The event also wants to connect startups to regional and international mentors, speakers and investors, and reward innovations in the process.
Commenting on the initiative, H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed said in a statement, “Arab youth are eager to lead their own future and they are indispensable to our efforts of building a brighter future for the Arab world in all fields. They represent the largest group in Arab communities and so, it is imperative for us to work with them to build a system that enables them to lead. We must adopt their ideas and support their growth in order to build an economy based on creativity and knowledge. Such an economy will greatly contribute to, and positively impact, the GDP of Arab countries, create new job opportunities for Arab youth, and develop innovative ways to manage businesses.”
To be held annually, the first edition of the event will be held on October 3-5, 2017 at Emirates Towers in Dubai, where startups spearheaded by Arab entrepreneurs are invited to participate and present their ventures and solutions to investors and other ecosystem stakeholders, and thereby generate opportunities for growth, and get connected to mentors. The event will also host a pitch competition to discover and award the best startups with cash prizes and other non-monetary rewards.The event also hosts a startup exhibition, and intends to feature some of the top innovative businesses of the Arab world as part of it.
In order to be successful in creating a collaborative environment for the Arab region’s startups, AYSM invites entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, incubators, and other supporters to collaborate with them and play a key part in the event’s first edition. As for the entrepreneurs themselves, if you are an early-stage Arab-owned startup (from any sector) with a tech or non-tech oriented product or solution to offer, you can send in your applications here, before August 31, 2017, for a chance to be a part of AYSM 2017.