Award Categories

Entrepreneur of the Year

Starting and growing a business is never easy. However, a number of truly resourceful entrepreneurs have shown outstanding performance and tenacity in developing one or a few GCC-based businesses. This award is dedicated to the entrepreneur whose business ventures have solved real problems in the market and generated value for its customers.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

It is never too late or too early to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams. Recognising that there is no age bar for entrepreneurship, we aim to acknowledge the efforts of those young GCC-based entrepreneurs, who have identified and seized new business opportunities. .

People’s Choice Award: Entrepreneur of the Year

Throughout the year, Arabian Business StartUp has been celebrating local champions of innovation and entrepreneurship on a weekly basis. Not only do they promote an entrepreneurial mindset and a ‘can-do’ spirit, but they have been the driving force of the local start-up communities within the GCC region. Our newly established People’s Choice Award is an opportunity for all of us to thank them one more time for their contributions.

Start-Up of the Year

The Start-Up of the Year award recognises the new GCC-based business that has demonstrated exellence in its industry sector – either through its innovative products or services, its evident business growth, its market competitiveness, or its local and regional impact – in 2016.

SME Leader of the Year

An SME leader exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship by running a businesses that is not only successful, but sustainable and growing year after year. A few years after the venture’s often humble beginnings, the SME leader we intend to honour has built a market leader with continued profitability, kept on employing more people, and impacted local community in a significant manner.

SME of the Year

The SME of the Year award recognises those GCC-based businesses that have grown into household names. We measure these growth-oriented ventures not only by their revenues, profitability, and number of employees, but also by other characteristics indicating the company’s continued progress toward long-term sustainability regardless of its current leadership.

Mentor of the Year

It is not a secret anymore that having a mentor – a person to build a strong bond with in order to mutually benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience – is a gateway to start-up success. But with so many ‘advisers’ willing to add your start-up’s name to his/her mentorship portfolio, how do we define a good mentor? This award aims to celebrate those start-up supporters who are usually less interested in gaining public recognition. Please share with us who they are.

Start Up Programme of the Year

The number of start-up programmes on offer across the GCC region has increased rapidly over the past years, with governments, corporates, universities, and individuals joining forces to speed up entrepreneurs’ learning curve and to provide them with a cushion to fall back on when hard times arise. One of the strengths of the GCC start-up scene is that all entrepreneurship-related organisations cooperate among themselves to push most promising regional entrepreneurs forward. The StartUp Programme of the Year Award recognises the initaitive that has made the biggest impact in 2016, alone or in cooperation with others.

Incubator/Accelerator of the Year

The number of start-up incubators and accelerators – programmes offering low-cost shared office space, learning opportunities, one-to-one mentoring sessions, funding, connections with leading investors, and much more – is a measure of the maturity of a country’s tech start-up scene. Fortunately, there are so many GCC-based incubator and accelerator programmes to choose from to get your start-up idea off the ground. Now it is up to you to choose the Incubator/Accelerator of the Year.

Funding Initiative of the Year

Every year we expect that more and more start-ups will close their fundrasing rounds, hoping that the deal size will also increase signalling more confidence among the industry players to support new business ventures. The Funding Initiative of the Year nominees will be judged on the amount of money raised, how the team will use this money to grow their business, and how their investors will help them in their endeavour.

Social Enterprise of the Year

Social entrepreneurship – defined as launching for-profit companies to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to society’s most pressing problems – has grown in popularity around the world, and the GCC region is no exception. The Social Enterprise of the Year award is our contribution to helping GCC-based social entrepreneurs scale up their innovative solutions.

Intrapreneur of the Year

You don’t have to start a new business venture to be entrepreneurial. There have been many examples of risk-taking employees’ thinking out-of-the-box to ensure that their employers do not miss out on a huge business opportunity. Our Intrapreneur of the Year award is a chance for locally based companies – large or small, public or private – to acknowlegde the efforts of their entrepreneurial employees.

Investor of the Year

Friends and family, angel investors, seed stage investors, Series A, B, C, or D investors, and so on – who is the braviest of them all? The list of nominees for our newly established Investor of the Year Award will reveal the region’s risk takers who possess experience, knowledge, but above all a desire to help you succeed.

New Media Start Up of the Year

Our newly-established award category will recognise a new approach or deployment of a technology – website, mobile application, online video, and social media campaigns – allowing their audiences to consume content in new, creative and more user-friendly ways.


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