About the Gulf Capital SME Awards

According to Ministry of Economy, the SMEs sector represents more than 94 per cent of the total number of companies operating in the country and provide jobs for more than 86 per cent of the private sector's workforce. In Dubai alone, SMEs make up nearly 95 per cent of all companies, employing 42 per cent of the workforce and contributing around 40 per cent to Dubai's GDP.

The UAE Government has an ambition to enhance the contribution and performance of the SME sector.

In 2012 Gulf Capital and MEED launched the first edition of our SME Awards.  In partnership for the last 7 years we have dedicated our energy and effort to identifying the UAEs SME growth champions.  The organisations and people who are contributing to the ongoing development of this critical and challenging part of the UAEs economy.

The awards provide a unique platform for SME’s to raise their profile, brands, products and services.

The Awards identify start-ups, innovative SME’s with exemplary products and services, the SME’s who invest in their employees’ environments, customer strategies and the visionary entrepreneurs leading them.

Why Enter

The Gulf Capital SME Awards have been running for 7 consecutive years throughout which we have, with our founding partners Gulf Capital, supported the UAEs growing SME community.

As the importance of SMEs to the UAE economy has amplified we have continued to evolve and are now a valuable and respected asset to the SME community and the organisations who support or work with SMEs.

The awards process from entry through to post-event coverage is your opportunity not just to join a community of like-minded professionals but to also be a part of a vital conversation. At varying stages of the awards cycle you can expect to…

  1. Win more work  by showcasing your innovative, high quality products and services to our sponsors, judges and the wider community of business professionals that we access.
  2. Publicity and brand awareness through an established PR and marketing campaign that achieves a PR value of $897,127 we ensure that UAE SMEs get a real boost. Finalists will be named in our Press Releases and on the night the regional media will be in attendance to interview the ultimate winners
  3. Network the MEED and Gulf Capital SME network is unrivalled and offers the chance to meet peers, advisors and potential investors
  4. Learn in participating you join a community of passionate, likeminded peers and advisors, through face to face judging and the awards ceremony connect and learn from professionals who understand the challenges that UAE based SMEs face and can help unlock opportunity
  5. Celebrate all your hard work. SME owners rarely stop.  This is a moment to bring teams, stakeholders and often family together to celebrate your achievements so far
  6. Benchmarking gain non-biased external validation and verification of your ideas and business

How to Enter?

Create an online account
Visit smeawards.meed.com/submit-entry to create an account and view the entry requirements for each category.

Choose your category/ categories
There are 16 categories in total and there is no limit to the number of these you may enter.

Enter your details
Following the criteria guidelines, complete your entry response and upload any relevant supporting material/links. Make sure you provide yourself enough time to think and not rush your response.

Submit your entry
Once complete, submit your entry before 30 June 2019. It is free to enter as many categories as you like.

Timeline

Categories and Entry Forms

  • Gulf Capital Business of the Year

  • B2B Small Business of the Year

  • B2C Small Business of the Year

  • Business Innovation of the Year

  • Business Leader of the Year

  • CSR Programme of the Year

  • Customer Focus of the Year

  • Digital Business of the Year

  • Disruption of the Year

  • Emirati Business of the Year

  • Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Micro Business of the Year

  • New Entrepreneur of the Year

  • People and Culture of the Year

  • Start-up Business of the Year

  • Sustainable Business of the Year

2019 Judges

In association with

Testimonials

FAQs

What are the key dates for the Gulf Capital SME Awards 2019?

Entry Deadline – 30th June 2019

Round 1 Judging – 7th July 2019

Finalist Announcement – 14th July 2019

Round 2 Judging – 1st to 11th September 2019

Gulf Capital SME Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner– 25th September 2019

Who should enter the Gulf Capital SME Awards?

Businesses with a valid trade license in the UAE and with a company turnover of less than 250m AED and less than 250 employees.

Who can enter the Start-up Business of the Year?

Businesses which have been trading for less than 2 years and hold a valid trade license in the UAE, with a company turnover of less than 250m AED and less than 250 employees. This is the only award which businesses younger than 2 years can enter.

Who can enter the Micro Business of the Year?

Businesses with a valid trade license in the UAE, with a company turnover of less than 5m AED.

Who can enter the B2B or B2C Small Business of the Year?

Businesses with a valid trade license in the UAE with turnover higher than 5M AED but under 40m AED.

Why should you enter?

The awards process from entry through to post-event coverage is your opportunity not just to join a community of like-minded professionals but to also be a part of a vital conversation. At varying stages of the awards cycle you can expect to…

  1. Win more work by showcasing your innovative, high quality products and services to our sponsors, judges and the wider community of business professionals that we access
  2. Publicity and brand awareness through an established PR and marketing campaign that achieves a PR value of $897,127 we ensure that UAE SMEs get a real boost. Finalists will be named in our Press Releases and on the night the regional media will be in attendance to interview the ultimate winners
  3. Network the MEED and Gulf Capital SME network is unrivalled and offers the chance to meet peers, advisors and potential investors
  4. Learn in participating you join a community of passionate, likeminded peers and advisors, through face to face judging and the awards ceremony connect and learn from professionals who understand the challenges that UAE based SMEs face and can help unlock opportunity
  5. Celebrate all your hard work. SME owners rarely stop. This is a moment to bring teams, stakeholders and often family together to celebrate your achievements so far
  6. Benchmarking gain non-biased external validation and verification of your ideas and business

How can I enter?

Please register online by clicking on "SUBMIT/MANAGE YOUR ENTRIES" on the main menu bar. You can also click here to register.

Following your registration, you will be able to author entries for the relevant categories on behalf your company. Work in progress can be saved and you can submit the entries once completed.

If you have any questions on the process or need clarification on the questions, please email us at awards@meed.com

Does my organisation need to be a customer of Gulf Capital or MEED to enter?

No. They awards will have independent judges who will evaluate entries according to the information submitted.

How do I choose the best category/ies to enter?

Please read the criteria of each category before you choose which category/ies are best suited to your achievements.

Is there a cost of entry?

No. The costs of administration and judging are covered by Gulf Capital.

Who are the judges of the Gulf Capital SME Awards?

Take a look at judges from previous years and see the 2019 panel as they are recruited by clicking here

What is the judging process?

Step 1 – please complete your written entry

Step 2 – first round judging identifies our finalists

Step 3 – finalists are invited to present in person to our judging panel

Step 4 – judges scores and the ultimate winners are independently audited by our partners Grant Thornton

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Contact Us

REQUEST AN ENTRY CONSULTATION:

Please fill out the below details for us to get in touch:

I consent to MEED collecting my details provided via this form
(Please check our Privacy Policy to see how we protect and manage your submitted data)



For general enquiries, entry and registration queries: awards@meed.com

For marketing, partnership, and sponsorship enquiries: sharath.ravi@meed.com