Women entrepreneurs win top awards
Dubai, November 10, 2013
Five of the 11 major awards were won by women business owners at the 2013 Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards.
The Centre for Musical Arts, owned by UAE national Tala Badri, won the ‘Emirati Business of the Year’ award, in recognition of Badri’s efforts in setting up and managing a centre offering instrumental music education to over 1,200 students.
Smashing! Cleaning Services, a specialist hygiene clearning company founded by expat entrepreneur Leny Day, won the ‘MasterCard Small Business of the Year’ and the ‘Sustainable Initiative of the Year’ awards. Day was awarded the ‘Regus Business of the Year’ award for leading the company in its growth and adopting sustainable business practices.
Lilliam Pollard’s company, E-Wall Studio received the ‘Customer Focus of the Year’ award.
The MEED’s panel of judges evaluated hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses which demonstrated outstanding business performance, innovation and growth and picked a group of SMEs that provided employment opportunities to thousands of professionals.
The finalists in all the categories recorded a combined total of Dh850 million ($231.4 million) in turnovers last year, representing a 150 per cent average growth rate in the last two years.
Dr Karim El Solh, chief executive officer of Gulf Capital, a leading alternative investment firms in the Middle East and headline sponsor of the annual Gulf Capital SMEinfo Awards, said: “I would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners this evening. They have all truly demonstrated what it takes to be successful entrepreneurs who can build excellent businesses through dedication, innovation and resourcefulness."
This year’s ‘Gulf Capital Business of the Year’ winner was F&B brand Just Falafel, which since its establishment in 2007, has experienced extraordinary growth establishing presence in seven countries and 1,500 stores in 11 additional countries sold into.
The ‘RSA Start-up Business of the Year’ honour was won byo Platinum Heritage Tourism, which leveraged its growth on Dubai’s booming tourism sector by providing exotic adventure tours.
Online real estate portal propertyfinder.ae scooped the ‘Online Business of the Year’ award, on the strength of its growth - from its humble beginnings in the UAE to having offices in Egypt and Qatar and becoming the property portal of choice for sellers, buyers and brokers.
Meanwhile, Micro Automation Industries won ‘Business Innovation of the Year’ award for successfully developing its own brand of power protection and electronic controllers for the mass market and the industrial community. In 2009, the company even set up its own innovation and incubation centre in Belgium for knowledge development and SMT assembly.
Innovative HR Solutions (IHS), a leader within the GCC region for assessment and development, won the ‘DHL People and Culture of the Year’ award. It boasts the largest team of organisational psychologists and leadership development specialists within the Middle East.
The ‘Grant Thornton Entrepreneur of the Year’ award was given to Prabissh Thomas, founder and group MD of PTL Solar, winning this award for the second consecutive year. Under Thomas’ leadership, PTL Solar has become a market leader in providing world class reliable solar energy solutions across Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
“Congratulations to all the winners. It has been a truly amazing year for the awards programme which received a record number of entrants. The awards not only celebrate outstanding achievements among SMEs, but also become a more proactive intelligence support system for the sector,” said Becky Crayman, head of MEED Awards, Middle East and Africa. - TradeArabia News Service