Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Centennial Fund, announced the winners of Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah International Prize for Entrepreneurship in an evening ceremony in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh Region and a number of Their Highnesses, ministers, partners and supporters, in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh.
The ceremony started by the rehearsal of holy verses from the Qur’an.
His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz delivered a speech during the ceremony in which he stressed that the achievements of the Fund, at the local, Gulf and international level came from the support and attention of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The Fund's objectives is a part of his highness vision to support the development of the economy and youth leadership work and to create the best environment for the growth of small and medium enterprises.
His Highness said, "This generous support from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has led the Fund to succeed in achieving the Gulf prospects through the creation of the “pioneers and youth Gulf Business Federation”. It also helped achieve the global outlook through the establishment of an alliance of entrepreneurs youth at the Group of Twenty GI. He stressed that the fund will continuously work in the embodiment of the wise vision to be a tributary of the youth service and entrepreneurship for building the future.
He added, “The Global Award for Entrepreneurship in its second season is only the result of the effort and creativity of the winners in the field of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship now has an active role in the economic growth and social stability, through creating job opportunities and fighting unemployment.” He continued saying, "From this point stems the importance of supporting and encouraging the culture of entrepreneurship and this award plays a part in triggering creativity and leadership.”
He indicated that through its vision and its ambitious policies the Centennial Fund seeks to create a new generation of young men and women bringing creativity, innovation and diversity into the society and developing the service industry. He also said that the Fund was keen on bringing greater vitality and effectiveness in this year’s occasion by organizing the Global Forum on Entrepreneurship with the participation of many entrepreneurs and experts from home and abroad.
The Deputy Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Centennial Fund prize congratulated the winners of the prize for what they accomplished in addition to congratulating Professor Muhammad Younis for winning the “Personal Leadership Award for Entrepreneurship” for 2014.
In conclusion His Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, thanked all those who directly and indirectly helped in the success of the Centennial Fund on the occasion of the celebration of 10 years of its founding. He also thanked the strategic partners of the Fund including Saudi Credit and Savings, and the Human Resources Development Fund, Inc. SABIC and all those who participated in the ceremony, both from Saudi Arabia or from abroad. He then renewed his congratulations to the winners and thanked the secretariat of the award for their fruitful efforts.
The audience then watched a documentary film about the award and the Centennial Fund.
On the other hand, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Hamoud al-Mutairi, General Director of the Centennial Fund and the General Secretary of the award, said in a speech that the vision of His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was launched from the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The keystone of the Centennial Fund’s contribution to building a leading generation is through the helping of ambitious young people to become business owners. In addition to the belief of his Highness that young people are the fuel of this nation and their ability to accelerate development in the Kingdom.
Al-Mutairi promised that the prize would represent a transformation in the quality of entrepreneurs and would be a call to excellence, creativity and the creation of models that will be practiced in the world of entrepreneurship. Moreover it will be in efforts to promote the concept of entrepreneurship, the development of creative ideas and encouragement of entrepreneurship, as well as the development of entrepreneurial competencies and skills. It will also help in highlighting the outstanding projects and motivating and honoring distinguished entrepreneurs. Thus the success of the projects, and exchange of experiences between entrepreneurs and mentors, and dissemination of success stories is one of the most important promotional tools for the spreading of the culture of entrepreneurship..
He reported that the number of nominations made by the entrepreneurs to the of award Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Global Entrepreneurship were about 600 candidates from 42 countries, where a team of specialists in the field of entrepreneurship made assessments to the candidates in accordance with the highest international standards. The prize included six basic categories including the category of best existing project, and the category best plan of action, and the category of best project idea, and the category of the best guides, and the category of the best guide, and the category of the best entrepreneurs.
Al-Mutairi expressed the great vitality and effectiveness of this annual event, organized by the Global Forum on Entrepreneurship, which is held under the slogan "Global Entrepreneurship". He had the opportunity to meet senior business leaders , intellectuals, journalists, investors, researchers and thought leaders and decision-makers to work together through discussion sessions on the latest trends and challenges facing entrepreneurs in the current stage. Thus it helped in assessing current trends in entrepreneurship to transform the national economy to a sustainable one, highlighting the role of emerging companies to raise competitiveness and contribute to the growth level..
Al-Mutairi indicated that the fund in previous years adopted 4186 projects in collaboration with partners. They were provided care services to more than 2238 projects and contributed to the employments of more than 5400 to actual jobs. These jobs were provided in more than 200 towns and villages throughout Saudi Arabia by more than 40 branches and offices staffed by 262 employees, particularly as 64% of the projects are outside the major cities. In addition the entrepreneurs ratio of females hit 21%. The Fund also promoted the Children initiative to develop the spirit of entrepreneurship among children of the Kingdom. The target of this initiative is for children aged between 8-15 years and who do not fall under the youth category, the TCF training helps raise them to be the pioneers of distinct business through services, games, workshops and events that develop their leadership spirit.
Al-Mutairi said that the fund started 20 initiatives including the Intel Center, and Centennial Fund for innovation, and the BlackBerry Academy initiative, and the Centennial Fund for Entrepreneurship initiative, and the Microsoft Entrepreneurship Fund initiative, the Valley percentage imitative. Their application rely on relevant universities and organizations to provide a system of integrated services and business incubators that allows entrepreneurs to take advantage of specialized programs which contributes to the growth of the economy.
.Following that His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz inaugurated the Global Leadership Portal "pioneers" adopted by the Centennial Fund, which aims to gather entrepreneurs, financiers and supporters, suppliers and government agencies and educational institutions through a single system.
Later, the winners of the Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah International Prize for Entrepreneurship were announced and honored by his highness.
His highness then posed for pictures with his winners.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz toured in the exhibition accompanying the ceremony afterwards. He examined then the projects of the strategic partners and the support companies of the award.