Akoun: A New Campaign To Inspire Entrepreneurship Among UAE Nationals

akoun_logoThe Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED) today launched ‘Akoun’ (which means ‘to be’ in Arabic), a new campaign designed to support the development of an entrepreneurship culture among young UAE Nationals in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

ADCED has created a workshop programme that will see the ‘Akoun’ team visit key universities in the Emirate over the next month with selected local UAE National entrepreneurs who will share their experiences about setting up their own businesses to inspire students to turn their ideas into reality.

Agencies partnering with ADCED will be on hand to highlight financing and other logistical support available to students. Universities being visited include Khalifa University, Higher Colleges of Technology (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Madinat Zayed and Ruwais campuses), Zayed University (Abu Dhabi campus), Abu Dhabi University and United Arab Emirates University.

In addition, ADCED has launched a competition to find young entrepreneurial talent from the Emirate. Students are invited to submit their business ideas via their university and a selected panel of business experts will choose the ten best ideas from each region (Abu Dhabi; Al Ain; Al Gharbia). The 30 short-listed finalists will be given training by Khalifa Fund to help them develop a business plan, with one winner from each region. Further support (financial and non-financial) and development will also be provided to those that meet the criteria set by Khalifa Fund.

As a bonus, all competition applicants will receive detailed feedback and recommendations on their submission. The closing date for the competition is February 12, 2010.

A dedicated website, www.adced.ae/akoun will provide information about the campaign and entrepreneurialism, including a self-assessment quiz for students to test their potential.

Partners in the integrated campaign include:

  • Khalifa Fund
  • Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ADCCI)
  • Western Region Development Council (WRDC)
  • Twofour54ยบ

Let us know your comments


Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded interactiveME.com and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), Bayt.com (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.