The Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED) announced yesterday the launch of the fourth phase of its initiative; Akoun, in its first workshop in Dubai University which was developed with the aim to inspire the next generation of Emirati entrepreneurs and empower them to enter the SME sector.

Akoun brings together government organisations and top-level Emirati entrepreneurs to collectively promote private enterprise to students across the UAE. With young Emiratis more interested in entrepreneurship than ever before, Akoun provides them with knowledge, resources and guidance to turn their ideas into reality and set up their own businesses.

The enterprise awareness campaign, which began in 2009, will reach more young Emiratis than ever before with a set of inspiring workshops and interactive activities that will take place at universities in every Emirate across the country between the months of February and April 2013.

The workshops will be hosted by successful young Emirati entrepreneurs, who will create an inspiring forum for students to learn first hand about setting up their own businesses. Students will also be invited to submit their bright ideas to the “Akoun Business Ideas Competition”, which will award the best three business proposals from each emirate with funding to help students on their way to start-up their businesses successfully.

In this regard, HE Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, ADCED’s Director General, stated: “We are pleased to see the increased interest from universities across the UAE to host our Akoun workshops, as this demonstrates how influential Akoun workshops have become over the years. Encouraging entrepreneurship among Emirati youth lies in line with the UAE’s government strategic goals to develop a strong private sector. We will continue to play a key role in educating the youth, guiding them to establish their own businesses, and support new entrepreneurs across the UAE.”

Last year, the Akoun Business Ideas Competition’s committee received more than 113 strong entries, with three winners in each of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia region. This year, competitors from the seven emirates across the UAE can participate by submitting their business proposals. Details about the initiative, the success stories of Emirati entrepreneurs, the competition, and other requirements are available on-line:

For daily inspiration and information, students can also follow Akoun on Twitter (@akounADCED) and like the (AkounADCED) Group on Facebook.

The upcoming Akoun workshops are held in partnership with Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, The Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders, Entrepreneurs Forum, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Ruwad Establishment, The Western Region Development Council, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, and TwoFour54.

Details about the workshops’ venue and dates will be announced in due course.


Rushika Bhatia Editor

Rushika Bhatia is one of the region’s leading commentators on business and current affairs issues. She is the Editor of SME Advisor magazine - the flagship title of CPI Business. She is passionate about infographics – with special emphasis on data, research and statistics. Rushika has a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, USA and is also CIMA qualified.

More in News, Opportunities, SME Stories
2013 Emirates Women Award launched

Dubai Quality Group launches the 10th cycle of the award which recognises UAE’s top women...