MITEF Arab Startup Competition Celebrates 10 Years of Arab Entrepreneurship in Bahrain in Line With the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision


10th Edition of the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition winnersAward Ceremony in Bahrain on April 27 

  • Competition held in partnership with Community Jameel, Zain Group and Tamkeen
  • 74 semi-finalists from 11 Arab countries compete for cash prizes exceeding $160,000
MITEF Arab Startup Competition Program (PRNewsfoto/MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab)

BEIRUTJEDDAH, Saudi Arabia and KUWAIT: PRNewswire: The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) for the Pan Arab Region will be announcing the lucky winners of the 10th MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition in a final award ceremony to be held at the Kingdom of Bahrain’s International Circuit on the 27th of April. The competition is held in partnership with Community Jameel, a social enterprise organization that operates a wide range of initiatives which promote and contribute towards positive societal change and economic sustainability; Zain Group, a leading telecommunications innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa; and Tamkeen, an organization tasked with developing Bahrain’s private sector and positioning it as the key driver of economic development.

The 74 semi-finalists from 11 Arab countries will undergo another round of training present their work over a three-day period from April 25th till the 27th to a jury that brings together some of the Arab world’s key investors and businessmen.

This year’s edition, which is of special importance as it celebrates the competition’s 10thanniversary, registered years of success and excellence while serving generations of young Arabs and their creative entrepreneurial ideas.

Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab stressed on technology and innovation as drivers of entrepreneurship in the region saying, “For our 10th anniversary, we want to gather the best entrepreneurs from the region, for them to learn from each other and from the global ecosystem. We insist on technology and innovation as the main drivers going forward for entrepreneurship in the region, and we think we are best positioned to lead this new trend.”

Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, commented on the anticipated event: “The final award ceremony of this grand competition is just around the corner. The number of participants this year exceeded all expectations and we are absolutely delighted to be part of this exciting event, yet again, for the tenth year. Together we can truly give birth to an outstanding generation of young entrepreneurs.”

Commenting on Zain’s support of the latest MITEF Arab Startup Competition, Zain Group CEO-Operations, Scott Gegenheimer said: “We are delighted to partner other esteemed organizations in the holding of this event in Bahrain, supporting the Kingdom’s 2030 Economic Vision, which is based on sustainability, fairness and competitiveness. Zain recognizes that technology, innovation and youth are key drivers for entrepreneurship across the region and our collaboration with MIT Enterprise Forum reflects Zain’s strategic vision of supporting young aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams.”

Chief Executive of Tamkeen, Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi emphasized the importance of this competition and said: “This year, Tamkeen chose to be a strategic partner for this prestigious competition. This is at the heart of our goals as a firm, to offer our support to all entrepreneurial initiatives in all vital sectors. We are proud to host this regional competition for the first time in the Kingdom of Bahrain stemming from our belief that such competitions inspire entrepreneurs to challenge themselves enabling them to develop and present their ideas in a competitive environment.”

The 74 teams from 11 Arab countries competing in the semi-finals  are distributed as follows: Egypt (20), Lebanon (11), Saudi Arabia (9), United Arab Emirates (9), Jordan (7), Tunisia (5), Morocco (5), Bahrain (3), Sudan (2), Libya (2) and Algeria (1). All the qualified teams participated in special trainings and preparatory activities that were held in EgyptJordan and the UAE.

The cash prizes, which exceed $160,000, will be distributed among three finalists who will be selected in each of the three tracks: Startups, Social Entrepreneurship and Ideas. The winners will also benefit from advanced training sessions, personal mentorship and guidance not to mention a great deal of media coverage and excellent networking opportunities.

Founded in 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region is one of the 28 worldwide chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum Global, an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. The MIT Enterprise Forum- Pan Arab has a proven record in promoting MIT-style entrepreneurship by organizing each year the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition targeting 21 countries of the Arab region and attracting over 12,000 entrepreneurs a year.

About Zain Group:

Zain is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to over 45.2 million active customers as of 31 December, 2016. With a commercial presence in 8 countries, Zain operates in: KuwaitBahrainIraqJordanSaudi ArabiaSudan and South Sudan. In Lebanon, the Group manages ‘touch’ on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain has a 15.5% stake in ‘INWI’, through a joint venture. Zain is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (stock ticker: ZAIN).

About Community Jameel:

Established in 2003, Community Jameel is a social enterprise organisation that operates a wide range of initiatives to promote a positive society and economic sustainability. From individual, community and Arab life as a whole, in Saudi Arabia and beyond, Community Jameel promotes Arab arts and culture in the Middle East and around the world, works against unemployment, enables research for poverty alleviation and food and water security, and provides education and training opportunities.

Community Jameel supports and partners with global institutions, which employ hundreds of people, all aiming to provide people with opportunities and training in the following areas:

• Job Creation – Bab Rizq Jameel
• Arts and Culture – Art Jameel
• Global Poverty Alleviation
• Food and Water Security
• Education and Training
• Health and Social

About Tamkeen:

Tamkeen is tasked with developing Bahrain’s private sector and positioning it as the key driver of economic development. Established in August 2006, Tamkeen is one of the cornerstones of Bahrain’s national reform initiatives and Bahrain’s Economic Vision. Tamkeen has two primary objectives: Firstly, fostering the creation and development of enterprises, and secondly, providing support to enhance the productivity and growth of enterprises and individuals.

To achieve these objectives, Tamkeen’s strategy focuses on quality enhancement, customer care and having a results-oriented approach. Through this strategy, a number of innovative programmes are provided to Bahrainis and businesses in Bahrain, which include training, consulting, financing, entrepreneurship support and others. These programmes help develop the capabilities of Bahrainis and enterprises and integrate new critical concepts for a vibrant sustainable private sector. To date, Tamkeen’s programmes have benefited more than 130,000 Bahrainis and businesses.