UAE - The UAE has very quickly established itself as a startup hub and has attracted the brightest and most innovative minds, said Badr Al Olama, head of the organising committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS).
Olama, said: "Support for small businesses is an essential pillar within the UAE's economic diversification efforts and is being propelled by a number of initiatives. Entrepreneurs will find that the UAE offers a solid foundation such as a favourable regulatory framework, zero income and corporate tax, strong government support, quality infrastructure, and a flourishing start-up ecosystem. We have already celebrated homegrown success stories such as Souq.com and Careem, and I am confident that we will see many more UAE-based unicorns making a global impact in the near future."
Speaking about Covid impact, Olama further added that being agile and resilient are key to businesses. "I believe that Covid-19 has forced businesses of all sizes to think of innovative ways to sustain and overcome challenges. But the reality is that this has also allowed many businesses to realise that new opportunities also exist."
The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity (the Global Prosperity Initiative), recently announced the 20 finalists for the Global Maker Challenge who will compete for prizes and mentorship worth up to $1 million.
The finalists were selected from over 3,400 solutions that were submitted for Cohort 2 of the Global Maker Challenge, a 200 per cent increase from last year's inaugural cohort. Solutions from over 148 countries were received, of which 18 per cent came in from Least Developed Countries. This year's global challenges will include four themes: Sustainable and Healthy Food for All; Climate Change; Innovation for Inclusive Trade; and Innovation for Peace and Justice.
The finalists will present their solutions during a series of virtual pitches that will commence on August 31, 2020, in the lead up to the Global Maker Challenge award ceremony on September 6.
The shortlisted finalists have harnessed novel technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, smart materials or cloud-based networks to design affordable solutions that are highly scalable, and can help disadvantaged communities around the world to create new opportunities for sustainable development.
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