Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship concludes semifinals of the national competition
(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Amman, Jordan - -The Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship (QRCE) has announced the conclusion of the semifinal phase of the Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Competition for 2013.
The contest aims to develop the spirit of entrepreneurship among Jordanian university students and aspiring entrepreneurs from the local community to enable them to transform their creative ideas into successful economic projects in the various fields of the technology sector.
In its sixth edition, the competition received support from the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) launched by the U.S. government, Intel Corporation and the Arab Potash Company (APC).
QRCE's Executive Director Farhan Kalaldeh said that the objectives of the current edition of the national competition focus on educating and attracting young and promising entrepreneurs who have creative ideas and fledgling enterprises and start-ups from various cities in the country, pointing out that the number of participants in the current edition reached more than 500 young men and women split into 250 teams.
It is worth mentioning that QRCE has signed a partnership agreement with MEPI to empower entrepreneurs in the governorates in north and south of Jordan through working with 7 major Jordanian Public universities. This has reflected positively on the percentage of participants in the competition from outside Amman, which has amounted this year to about 70%, helping to fulfill the goal of the of the partnership with MEPI, namely, supporting entrepreneurs in the governorates.
QRCE's successful efforts to achieve gender equality and promote the role of women in the development of local communities culminated in the fact that 43% of applicants in the competition were females. The Center deems this an important step in the efforts aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations to enhance the role of women in society.
The ideas put forward by the participants were evaluated during the first phase of the competition, which resulted in 252 participants qualifying to the second phase of the contest. These youth joined a bootcamp supervised by a group of experts in start-up management. They were trained in strategic planning and customer & business development in accordance with the latest practices in the domain.
Twenty-six teams were qualified, after their draft business plans were evaluated. They were required to submit their projects after they reflected what they had learned in the training camp. After that, the award's management designated a mentor and an expert specializing in the sector targeted by each team to help it improve the plan and strategy throughout meetings and workshops extending for several weeks before the final business plans were submitted and evaluated thoroughly before they entered the final stage of the competition.
The finalists were: 2 from the startups category, 13 from the pre-startup category and 6 from the universities category.
For his part, Brian Grimm, Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy, stressed that the objectives of the competition and its vital and effective role in building a culture of entrepreneurship in Jordan are in line with MEPI's goals to empower women and youth, create educational opportunities and jobs, and foster economic reforms throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The focus on governorates is a major pillar of this project, as it will contribute to Jordan's overall economic progress.
Mr. Grimm highlighted the close collaboration between MEPI and QRCE officials during the execution of the program. In particular, he thanked the center for its dedication to this project and for its ability to meet needs of local women and youth.
Director of Intel Corporation's Corporate Affairs in Levant and North Africa Ms. Rula Habash commented: "Our sponsorship of the Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Award falls within our commitment to supporting innovative individuals as a translation of our vision, which calls for promoting entrepreneurship from idea creation to start-ups that can radically drive innovation and accelerate economic growth in the communities."
For his part, Mr. Bisher Mahasneh from the Arab Potash Company indicated that the company adopts a policy that promotes the concepts of innovation, excellence and the development of entrepreneurial ideas of the younger generation as part of its social responsibility.
QRCE had carried out a national electronic media campaign targeting all regions of the country to promote the contest and its objectives.
This year's competition, in which the value of the prizes amounted to JD20,000, focused on the sectors of ICT, Life sciences, water and renewable energy, and others relevant sectors, to help Jordanian youth take the initiative and make a promising future.
QRCE was established in 2004 to help develop technology entrepreneurship in Jordan. The Centre is hosted by El Hassan Science City and an integral part of iPARK, playing the role of a national Centre of Excellence for Entrepreneurship. As part of QRCE strategic plan, the Center is implementing a national initiative supported by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), Intel Corporation and Arab Potash Company, focusing on networking, recognition & awareness, capacity building and support in various governorates. For more information please visit: www.qrce.org.
About Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship (QRCE):
A Non-Profit organization established in 2004 to help develop Technology Entrepreneurship in Jordan. The Center is part of El Hassan Science City, and plays the role of a national Center of Excellence for Entrepreneurship. As part of QRCE strategic plan, the Center is implementing a comprehensive initiative focusing on four key areas: Networking, Recognition & Awareness, Capacity Building & Support, and Funding. Over the last 10 years, the center has organized many activities that benefited thousands of entrepreneurs, professionals & students in Jordan. For more information please visit: www.qrce.org
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