- 7 finalists chosen from 150 entries
- Finalists to work closely with Aldar to identify space, capex requirements and lease terms
Abu Dhabi - UAE, [XX] February 2020: Aldar Properties PJSC ('Aldar') is proud to announce seven finalists for its Manassah entrepreneurship competition designed to support the UAE's most ambitious retail and F&B entrepreneurs.
Following a round of rigorous process entered into by 150 talented contestants, the Aldar selection committee has identified the following, home grown finalists of the entrepreneurship competition:
• Coffee Architecture: a speciality coffee house built by the first female Emirati certified Q grader and designed around minimalism, passion, art and love in Abu Dhabi
• Alkalime: a feel good concept offering customers healthy, nutritious, tasty and accessible food and drinks in the most relaxing and eco-friendly space
• Mr Draper: Combining fashion and technology, Mr. Draper simplifies the shopping experience by curating fashion outfits using a proprietary algorithm and in-house stylists to make shopping easier and more efficient
• YAIA Kombucha: straight from the tap kombucha with complimenting food options, offering an alternative sophisticated social drinking experience with healthier outcomes
• Maharat: A learning centre creating futures through innovation in special education. Offering a mix of specialised programmes focusing on the importance of community integration for children with unique needs and developmental delays
• Wake n' Bake: a home-grown bakery by a female Emirati Chef, that specialises in hand-crafted breads and custard doughnuts made from scratch along with other freshly baked goods
• Chiringuito: A Spanish beach restaurant (Tapas & Paellas) in a high-end beachfront location with Mediterranean ambience and entertainment
The finalists will now work closely with Aldar to identify which space within Aldar's portfolio is best suited to their concept. In addition, the finalists will spend the next six weeks refining their financial plans to secure the right level of financial support and to identify the lease terms for each concept. The winning ideas will then open in Q4 2020 in selected locations across Aldar's prime developments.
Commenting on the Manassah competition, Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Properties, said: "The Manassah competition, an initiative of Aldar's Youth Council, has showcased the incredible talent and potential of young entrepreneurs in the UAE. The seven entries received meticulous pitch training before presenting their business ideas to the selection committee. The finalists showed exceptional entrepreneurial spirit and has presented unique business ideas that will help elevate our offerings at a number of our developments. Nurturing homegrown talent is one of our core values at Aldar and we are proud of the success of the first competition. We look forward to continuing to identify untapped talent as part of our ongoing youth initiatives."
Saoud Khoory, Executive Director – Retail Asset Management, Aldar, added: "This competition has given us the pleasure to meet with a number of innovative, people and concepts, whom I look forward to working closely with. It is really exciting to see homegrown concepts to become part of our thriving retail portfolio, take their plans to the next level and to identify the best ways for them to grow. Initiatives such as Manassah enable entrepreneurs to test out their concepts and refine them before bringing them to the market and as such we are committed to support such programs across our assets to help them succeed."
Launched in November 2019, the Manassah competition supports young entrepreneurs to develop innovative businesses across three categories – retail, café, and restaurants. This is Aldar's first retail start-up programme in partnership with startAD, the global accelerator based in NYU Abu Dhabi. StartAD and Aldar will support the winner in the curated incubation programme for retail providing them with the necessary tools to launch, develop, and scale their ventures. As part of the programme, the selected teams will receive training and mentorship from the best local and global entrepreneurship, retail, and tech experts.
Aldar Youth Council was set up in 2018, with the aim to actively empower Aldar youth, unlock their full career potential, and engage with other Youth Councils across the country.
For more information, please visit www.manassah.ae