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Entrepreneurs in the making with SBM Apprentice
The Dean's Business Team of the School of Business and Management at American University of Sharjah (AUS) held an entrepreneurship competition entitled "SBM Apprentice" on February 26, 2013. Students across different schools and colleges participated in the event where they were challenged to initiate a business idea and run it successfully within a constrained budget and time frame.
A total of 15 teams, each comprising of four members, were asked to submit a business plan that would entail the different elements of starting and running a business. Business plans ranged from selling traditional food such as biryani and kunafa to selling electronic accessories such as mini fridge car chargers, customized Apple product covers and hand-made jewelry. The student teams presented their business plans to a panel of judges comprising SBM faculty members Ali Khawaja, Linda McLoughlin and Liliana Danila, who raised questions from logistics to finance and forced the teams to refine their ideas to make them more realistic. After a week-long preparation and planning period, the teams went live with their business idea on Tuesday in the SBM rotunda where members from the AUS community came to show their support.
The event was promoted with the hashtag #ThinkBigWinBig being indicative of the need to think out of the box while working within constraints and changing business situations. Dr. Allan Paul Williams, Associate Dean for SBM, further took the event to the next stage by posing as Alan Sugar, star of the BBC reality show The Apprentice.
Rabia Ihsan, Project Manager of the SBM Apprentice and Treasurer of the Dean's Business Team said, "Participants put up a commendable performance executing their business plans. We would like to thank all our sponsors, faculty, and participating and non-participating students for their overwhelming support."
The winners were announced the following afternoon at the closing ceremony with first, second and third place being occupied by teams Entrepreneurs of Entrepreneurship, Le Boutique and TBA, respectively. The teams received gifts from the event sponsors iStyle, Emaar Dubai Mall and Innovation 360. Kamal Hasan, CEO of Innovation 360, was also present at the closing ceremony to applaud the teams and share his motivational words for the participants.
The team plans to arrange similar events in the forthcoming weeks.
Nikita Phulwani, President of the Dean's Business Team said, "We are really proud of the students who participated in the SBM Apprentice! The enthusiasm and great spirit of the 60 participants is a motivating factor for us to keep organizing such enterprising events!"