Who says you're too young to start your own business? If you've got an awesome idea and are all pumped up to make a solid difference, then there's an actual programme that will help you get off the ground. Don't worry if you haven't got all the skills you think you need, there's tons of experts to help you in everything, from business to law and even tech advice. Unis are basically going to be transformed into mini creative freezones, so you can think creatively and act on your dreams.
Named 'Alchemy', the programme is designed to give you, the student, skills that you will need to start your journey as an entrepreneur when you graduate. All aspects of the programme will be incorporated into the curriculum at your uni.
These are the unis 'Alchemy' will be available at, so far:
- American University in Dubai
- Zayed University
- Higher Colleges of Technology
- University of Dubai
- Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University
- College of Fashion and Design in Dubai
You can sign up for the Alchemy programme at the beginning of your semester - September or January. Pitch your idea with a proposal and you could get in and get a grant of up to Dhs10,000 by Dubai SME. Getting coached to develop your idea and a Minimal Viable Product, is the next phase. You'll then be given a chance to present your product on demo days held twice a year at Area 2071.
If your MVP is successful, you'll get Dhs100,000 by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Innovation Fund and then enter acceleration! Throughout your time in in Alchemy, you'll have to prove progress and reach milestones, which will be monitored by the programme manager.
The People Making It Happen
We've got the Dubai Future Foundation, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), TECOM and Inc5, to thank for 'Alchemy'. The Dubai Government Legal Affairs Department, Dubai Government Media Office, AREA 2071 and the Mohammad bin Rashid Innovation Fund are also a big part of it, as per Gulf News.
There's no reason to get started on your dreams now! Making it happen just got a whole lot easier.