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14 May 2023

Community Jameel Saudi Launches 7th Edition of StartSmart Competition

  • Entrepreneurs Advancement

Registration for the competition opens on April 27 and closes on June 16, 2023.

Community Jameel Saudi, a member of the global network of the Abdul Latif Jameel Global Education Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), announced the launch of the 7th edition of the StartSmart Competition, with registration opening on April 27 and closing on June 16 on the  competition website. The annual competition, organised by Bab Rizq Jameel, is one of the most renowned entrepreneurship competitions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and seeks to strengthen the Saudi entrepreneurship ecosystem, empower entrepreneurs, and encourage innovation.

The competition is open to Saudi entrepreneurs of all ages, irrespective of financial status. The winning teams will receive monetary prizes in addition to other benefits, to be announced at a later stage. Participants can compete in one of four categories: Idea Track, Startups Track, Social Enterprise Track, and the newly launched Environment Track. The organisers will hold a series of introductory tours in Saudi cities to familiarise entrepreneurs with the criteria and mechanisms for entering the competition and help them complete their submissions.

Spanning five months, the competition will offer participating teams the opportunity to receive training from prominent entrepreneurship experts in Saudi Arabia. It will also facilitate access to mentorship sessions for guidance and counselling, with opportunities to network with investors and industry leaders.

Dr May Taibah, Member of the Board of Trustees at Community Jameel Saudi and Director of Bab Rizq Jameel, expressed her pride in the competition and its impact, saying, "Over the years, StartSmart has proven to be instrumental in providing knowledge, networking, training, and funding to Saudi entrepreneurs, enabling them to turn their ideas into startups and accelerate their growth and contribution to the economy."

Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar, Manager for Social Initiatives at Community Jameel Saudi, added: “Community Jameel Saudi’s commitment to contributing to Vision 2030 has continuously motivated us to achieve social, economic and environmental prosperity. StartSmart acts as a catalyst for Saudi youth to enter the field of entrepreneurship from its broadest doors. It encourages them to excel and compete in a platform that provides them with support and guidance to reach new horizons of success and growth."

The competition has achieved an unparalleled success since its inception in 2016, empowering 8,500 entrepreneurs, awarding more than SAR 1.4 million in cash prizes to the winners, and creating more than 200 jobs over the years.  Notably, the last edition of the competition was held under the auspices of the Emirate of Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah Region and in the presence of the Emir of Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah Region, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The last StartSmart Competition also hosted other diverse activities, such as a successful conference, which hosted around 23 speakers and panellists and was attended by about 10,000 people from Saudi and abroad. These sessions provided a platform for exchanging insights and ideas on the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship and how to use frameworks and competencies to create a positive impact for the local community.

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