Bahrain hosts largest entrepreneurship event in Arab region

Manama,  (BNA) — Under the auspices of the Capital Governor, Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, in the presence of Minister of State for Information Affairs, the Government’s Official Spokesperson, Sameera Ibraheem bin Rajab, 24 projects from 16 Arab countries participated in Intel Business Challenge MENA 2014 award ceremony held today in Manama,

Manama,  (BNA) — Under the auspices of the Capital Governor, Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, in the presence of Minister of State for Information Affairs, the Government’s Official Spokesperson, Sameera Ibraheem bin Rajab, 24 projects from 16 Arab countries participated in Intel Business Challenge MENA 2014 award ceremony held today in Manama, the capital of entrepreneurship and Arab creativity for the year 2014.


Information State Minister, in her speech, welcomed the Arab youth, and hailed the leading youth activities that motivate the youth to be creative, noting HM the King’s reform project aimed at promoting the youth sector. She expressed gratitude to UNIDO for hosting the activity in Bahrain. 

Director of the United Nations Media Centre for the Arabian Gulf countries, Nejib Friji, in his speech, said the event comes to highlight the solid partnership and relationship between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Nations, represented by UNIDO. 

This year featured 3700 project submitted by some of the most creative and innovative students and graduates from different universities across the Middle East and North Africa. The competing projects were of high standard and covered several technical and scientific fields. The Business Challenge seeks to foster entrepreneurship among university students, support innovative ideas across different technical and scientific fields, and use these ideas to build successful businesses, which would positively impact the society at large. The Challenge aims first and foremost to nurture a new generation of innovators, who are well equipped to face different societal challenges and develop successful and innovative solutions and projects for a better future.

Twenty four projects competed in the finals in Intel Business Challenge MENA 2014 in Bahrain, namely three projects from Egypt, three projects from KSA, three from Morocco, three from Tunisia, three from Jordan, two from Bahrain, two from Lebanon, two from Palestine, two from Algeria, and finally one from UAE.

It is worth noting that all 24 participating teams received an extensive three-day capacity building program in Bahrain under the mentorship of the UNIDO Arab International Center for Entrepreneurship and Investment through the support of 14 experts. These experts helped the participants refine their ideas, create viable business plans with financial, technical, and marketing analysis to foster their entrepreneurial skills and prepare them for the finals.

Winner of first prize was Susan Shadeed Ahmed from United Arab Emirates. 
Winner of second prize was Ameena Al-Hawaj from Bahrain. 
Winner of third prize was Jay Dhahim from Lebanon. 
Winner of fourth prize was InterAct from Egypt. 

The winning teams will have the opportunity to compete at the Intel Global Business Challenge in Silicon Valley, USA, in November 2014.

“We deeply appreciate Intel’s choice to select Manama to host the Challenge award ceremony especially that Manama has been named the Arab Capital for Entrepreneurship & Innovation for the year 2014. We also extend our thanks to our partners in this Challenge, especially the Arab Thought Forum, the General Federation of Arab Chambers of Commerce, and MENA Investment Center”, stated Dr. Hashim Hussein, Head of UNDIO ITPO / AICEI, the official host of the Challenge.

Dr. Hashim also praised the international and regional role of Intel in supporting entrepreneurs and fostering creativity and innovation across the Arab region. He stated that the UNIDO and Intel are currently developing a memorandum of understanding, according to which several innovation centers will be established in the MENA region to support and mentor Arab and African youth.

“At Intel, we believe in the investment in programs that promote education and creativity, hold international competition in these fields, encourage innovators, and motivate visionaries to build a better future. Entrepreneurship is crucial for the development of societies and local economies. We cooperate with governmental and educational bodies all over the world to achieve sustainability through the provision of resources and smart solutions to enhance and foster professional education, which would motivate the coming generation of innovators”, said Taha Khalifa, General Manager of Intel in the MENA region.

“We are proud that the MENA Investment Center was an official partner in this Challenge and that the award ceremony has been successfully held in Bahrain” stated Mr. Ousamma Al Abssi, CEO of the Labour Market Reform Authority and Board member of the MENA Investment Center.

The Intel Global Challenge aims at fostering creativity and entrepreneurship through motivating youth to develop their own technical projects. In doing so, the Challenge supports productivity, creates job opportunities, and achieves sustainable socio-economic development.

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