Entrepreneurs awarded in DUBAI+Acumen competition

Prizes totaling AED150,000 awarded to two social enterprises focused on recycling and sustainability
Entrepreneurs awarded in DUBAI+Acumen competition
By Neil King
Wed 18 Dec 2013 02:17 PM

Sustainable businesses have been awarded prizes totaling AED150,000 as part of a competition for social enterprises.

The Acumen for Social Enterprise Business Plan Competition 2013 (AES 2013) recognises community-centric businesses, marking out those with the best business plans based on social entrepreneurship.

Organised by DUBAI+Acumen, the V7 Grand Prize went to Green Truck Recycling Transportation Services, co-founded by Diya Khalil and Timothy Paul. Their idea for providing direct recycling transportation for freehold communities in Dubai, won them a prize valued at AED100,000.

The Dow Sustainability Prize was awarded to Green Shine, a facility providing organic and water-free car washes. Founder Elizabeth Kuruvilla collected the award of AED50,000.

As part of Green Truck’s victory, it will receive investment from prize partner, V7 Captial.

AES 2013 judge, and chairman of V7 Capital, Yousef Hamza, said: “Social enterprises are becoming more globally recognized as the next best driver for economies. Not only do they create jobs, they also have a wider social and environmental impact that is sorely needed in emerging markets.

“V7 is happy to help incubate and grow Green Truck’s aspirations to make Dubai more recycling-friendly.”

Green Truck was also praised by Hamza’s fellow judge, and general manager of The Dow Chemical Company in the UAE, Moosa Al-Moosa.

He said: “Sustainability is a cornerstone of Dow’s business philosophy and we believe it is important to encourage the sustainable business potential of the UAE by supporting entrepreneurs like Green Shine with the opportunity to turn great ideas into a game changing reality.

During the competition, ten finalists vied for the prizes before a judging panel of business leaders and entrepreneurs which also included MD of the Crescent Group, Badr Jafar, founding member of Endeavour UAE, Karim Djerboa, and last year’s winner, Tracy Fountain, who founded Back to Basics.

Jafar said:  “Research has shown that entrepreneurs with mentors are almost twice as likely to succeed as those without the support and guidance of experienced business people. The Social Enterprise Business Plan Competition recognises this fact and is particularly effective at connecting promising entrepreneurs with mentors and capital.”

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