By Staff writer
Final rescheduled for August 22 after initially being postponed due to Covid-19
The grand finale of the inaugural ‘Global Entrepreneurship Challenge’, which was scheduled to take place in April this year only to be thwarted by the Covid-19 pandemic, is to be held remotely later this month.
The event is being organised by Thynk, a start-up founded in 2019 by teenage Dubai-based founders Rayan Malik, 16, and Yousuf Zia, 17, with the aim of creating a generation of savvy business gurus and encourage schools to begin teaching entrepreneurship at a young age. The virtual event will give young, aspiring entrepreneurs – ranging from 11-years-old to 18 – a platform to showcase their idea.
Over AED100,000 in prizes will be made available following the event’s final on August 22, including AED12,500 in direct cash, a free trade license worth AED25,000 and access to seed funding worth AED50,000.
It is open to young people with potential ideas in the education, technology, health and sports and environmental sectors.
In an interview with Arabian Business, the competition’s two founders said that they started the competition, in part, because of a lack of options for young entrepreneurs to showcase their talent in the UAE and across the wider region.
“One of the main reasons is that it’s such a new region. Dubai is only some 40 years old, so they haven’t really had time to do that,” Zia said. “A lot of the focus was on people moving to the west. But, now we need to create that culture.”
To accomplish that goal, the challenge previously conducted a number of expert-led workshops, such as an introduction to financial planning and mock presentation workshops.
“That’s core to our competition,” Malik said. “We don’t want students to just come and go between the rounds. We want them to develop their idea throughout the competition.”
“By developing this competition, we learned so many things that don’t get taught in a classroom, such as how to market, design software, reach out to partners, events logistics,” he added. “That’s what we want for the competitors also. That’s the central reason we created this.”
Already, the two young men have partnered with PwC and Careem to launch the challenge in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan next year, as well as develop an entrepreneurship curriculum that will be launched in 30 UAE schools next year.
More information on the event can be found here.