Abu Dhabi to provide Dh13 million for young entrepreneurs

Funding to spearhead more sustainable solutions to be released during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

In 2015, Mohamed Rashid Al Ghailani worked on an integrated seawater energy and agriculture system project at Masdar Institute. Irene García León / The National
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More than 300 candidates are vying for major funding, which is set for release next month, to help spearhead more sustainable solutions surrounding air quality, agriculture and transportation.

Abu Dhabi-based global marketplace, Climate Innovation Exchange (Clix), will connect young entrepreneurs and investors to help drive sustainable climate change solutions. UAE climate change minister Thani Al Zeyoudi said the Clix forum, which will take place as part of Sustainability Week, will provide a “competitive environment that brings together investors and innovative entrepreneurs” that will turn creative ideas into a reality.

“We are expecting by the end of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) to release at least Dh1.1 million for individual projects and Dh12m for groups,” Mr Al Zeyoudi said in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The fund, aimed at attracting new ideas from young people, was launched in October. Mr Al Zeyoudi said that it had encouraged young entrepreneurs to come up with ideas to pitch in front of financial institutions. And in only two months, the initiative received 364 submissions from 65 countries.

He added: “I’m especially proud to see that the bulk of these submissions came from the UAE, in yet another validation of a local environment that fosters excellence and innovation.”

The next ADSW, taking place from January 13 to 20, will focus on driving the global energy transformation and a key element will be to attract youth.

“Young people are actively supporting global efforts to address climate change and accelerate renewable energy deployment,” said Adnan Amin, director general of the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency. “Youth are not embedded in old paradigms, but in enacting change.”