GEMS Education, one of the world’s oldest and largest K-12 private education providers, has recently launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme that covers all aspects of turning an idea into a fully active startup, an official statement said.
As a part of the initiative, more than 65 teams of student entrepreneurs from schools throughout the UAE have put forward their business ideas for inclusion in the region’s first school-based accelerator programme, the Youth Entrepreneurship Accelerator powered by GEMS World Academy – Dubai (GWA) and sponsored by CAFU.
Open to pupils across the GEMS Education network, the accelerator, which is based and managed by staff at GWA, aims to support early-stage, growth-focused businesses through education and mentorship, transforming students into founders and their dreams and ideas into fully-fledged startups.
Speaking about the development, Director of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Impact of GEMS World Academy – Dubai, Helen Al Uzaizi, said:
With the changes the world is seeing today, instilling an entrepreneurial mindset within our students is more important than ever. Through this real-life, project-based approach to business, students will build the skills that are essential for their future. The accelerator is the first of its kind to bring this high level of business acumen and entrepreneurial support that we see within global accelerators for adult entrepreneurs. Our goal through this programme is to help students develop real investment-ready businesses.
Since late February, the programme’s selection team has been reviewing submissions from students in Grades 9-12 (Years 10-13), drawing up the final list of 12 teams, made up of 42 students in total, who will benefit from after-school sessions led by digital EdTech platform 8billionideas.
Over the next 12 weeks, the selected students will be guided by a cohort of experienced mentors who will provide feedback on their work as they proceed through the programme. Each participating team will comprise a CEO, Product Manager, Chief Marketing Officer, Innovation Lead, and Chief Financial Officer.
Nabra Al Busaidi, Community and Sustainability Manager, CAFU, added:
The Youth Entrepreneurship Accelerator programme offers an exciting opportunity to work and collaborate with the next generation of changemakers. We are delighted to be sponsoring this initiative by GEMS Education and GEMS World Academy – Dubai. At CAFU, we are fully committed to supporting the growth and development of young entrepreneurs. This unique offering will help safeguard the UAE’s startup ecosystem by empowering students and fostering their entrepreneurial spirit. As a Dubai-born brand deeply rooted in the UAE, this is close to our hearts, and we believe that this accelerator will prepare tomorrow’s leaders for success in an ever-evolving economic landscape.
As the accelerator’s main sponsor, CAFU will provide mentorship and access to its network of business experts to help all participating students grow and succeed. In addition, the platform will also cover all costs of the programme. Topics covered by the programme include:
- Problem identification and solution.
- Solution development and prototyping.
- Marketing sizing and go-to-market strategy.
- Financial modelling and planning.
- Resourcing, leadership, and management.
- Investor pitching.
The programme will culminate in a ‘Demo Day’ scheduled in May when students can showcase their work in a live final and pitch their startups to external investors. Confirmed businesses for the accelerator include Tranquil, which aims to support teens’ mental health via an online platform that tracks their well-being journey; Carbon Wallet, an AI-driven app that rewards users’ participation in sustainable practices and activities; and YOLO, an app designed to facilitate and ease conversation in potentially awkward social settings.
Founded in the UAE in 1959, GEMS Education is a highly regarded choice for quality private education in the Middle East and North Africa. The platform holds an unparalleled track record of providing diverse curricula and educational decisions to all socio-economic means. It currently operates 63 schools and educates over 130,000 students in the MENA region; its growing network of schools and charitable contributions fulfils the founder’s vision of putting a quality education within reach of every child.
In 2019, GEMS Education and IDP Education partnered to support GEMS students looking into post-secondary international study options. This collaboration would enable high school graduates to access services from IDP during their university hunting: for example, university application guidance, offer acceptance and pre-departure advice, and IELTS testing services at IDP centres in UAE.