Young Saudis vie with peers for excellence in entrepreneurship



RIMA AL-MUKHTAR

Published — Friday 9 November 2012

Last update 11 November 2012 6:58 pm

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JEDDAH: Injaz held the sixth annual Injaz Al-Arab Young Entrepreneurs Competition on Tuesday in Doha. Eighteen Saudi students competed with students from all over the Arab world.
Injaz Al-Arab is a nonprofit organization and one of the top 100 NGOs in the world. It believes in the limitless potential of youth in the Arab world and their ability to create viable economic opportunities. Injaz brings the private and public sectors together to provide hands-on learning in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship skills.
Injaz Al-Arab currently operates in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The Injaz Al-Arab Young Entrepreneurs Competition is the culmination of six months of inspirational work, dedication and passion in which corporate mentors work hand-in-hand with tomorrow’s young Arab leaders. It was launched in 2007 and it’s an annual celebration of the achievement of hardworking students who participated and won Company Program Competition at the national level.
After winning the top accolade in their home country, students become eligible for the main event: The Injaz Al-Arab Young Entrepreneurs Competition. This gives the chance of a lifetime to vie for the highly coveted “Company of Year” award with the top young entrepreneurial minds from around the MENA region. There they present their innovative ideas to a panel of highly respected judges, comprising top Middle Eastern entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Judges choose the winning team based on evidence of innovation and the successful exploitation of new ideas in all aspects of the running of the company.
In order for students to be eligible for the main event, they have to demonstrate sound business acumen, financial knowledge, marketing support and feasibility studies during four stages: a written report, the trade fair, the public presentation and the panel interview.
"Without Limits" is a Saudi invention of a safe case that is designed in an elegant way that serves people who are looking for privacy with a built-in gadget that makes the bag open only with a fingerprint.
This project is the brainchild of 18 university students from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. They were the winners of the Saudi Injaz Youth Competition of 2012. “The safe case is a smart bag that only opens with personal fingerprint. It can hold up to 16 fingerprints for each bag,” said Maram Mohammed, the marketing manager of the students. “What makes our invitation special is that it’s the prefect blend between style and security. It was designed especially for businesswomen looking for one case to hold all their essential needs,” she added.
The case has built-in space for the iPad, six cardholders, passport holder, wallet and a place for important papers. “We chose the iPad because after studying the Saudi market, we found out the iPad has made significant sales this year. We also wanted to make place for cards, money and papers because we wanted businesswomen to secure all their important things in one place instead of having different bags,” said Maram. “This product is made of 100% Saudi leather, in addition to the pure silk threads to the fingerprint gadget which are all made in Saudi Arabia and produced in a Saudi factory here in Jeddah,” she added.
Their main focus for our first line was businesswomen but their next lines will include men with different shapes, colors and gadget holders. “We customize orders according to clients. We can change anything they want,” said Maram. “We are looking to release our next collection soon and we are hoping it will get the attention and the sales the first collection got,” she added.
The safe case costs SR 1,000 and the students already sold 11 cases with different colors. “We arranged to have a booth in Red Sea Mall after studying the number of people who visit the place and it was held at the beginning of the summer when we noticed that a huge number of shoppers visited the mall,” said Maram. “We have sold different colors such as black, brown, blue and gray. We made sure the case looked formal and classic to match all styles,” she added.
For the Entrepreneurship for Arab School 2012, there were two winners for the first time in Injaz Al-Arab history where Yemeni students won with their “Creative Generation” invention that uses innovative ideas to tackle solar energy technology while providing a broader service to ensure lower prices so that every house in the Republic of Yemen can have access to safe, healthy and environmentally friendly energy.
The other group which won this year was from Algeria with its “AlGreenIA” project that aims to drive the role of green development in Algeria by becoming the eco-partner of the future.

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