Ten Saudi entrepreneurs in fray for best in Kingdom spot

Ten entrepreneurs have been shortlisted as finalists for the Saudi Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) award

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Ten entrepreneurs have been shortlisted as finalists for the Saudi Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) award.

The awards honor noteworthy Saudi entrepreneurs who have proved excellence and remarkable success in their businesses and communities alike.

The winner will be announced on April 6 at a gala dinner at the Laylaty One ballroom in Jeddah.

The event will be held in association with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and is sponsored by Saudi Fransi Capital, the Human Resources Development Fund, Arabian Entrepreneurs magazine and Endeavor Saudi Arabia.

This year's finalists, announced by Ernst & Young, comprise a group of Saudi entrepreneurs whose achievements have earned them widespread respect and recognition.

The 10 finalists are: Rashid Al-Ballaa of National Net Ventures (N2V); Ahmed Hamdan of Optimal Technology Solutions (OTS); Lateefa Al-Waalan of Yatooq; Kaswara Al-Khatib of UTURN Entertainment; Loai Naseem of Lomar; Osama Natto of Innovative Business Solutions; Hazim Al-Dabbagh of SureFix; Shadi Khawandana of Special Direction; Shadi Zahid of Phenomenal PR & Events; and Naif Alqahtani of Logistics Solutions Services (LSS).

The independent judging panel comprises Dr. Lama Al-Sulaiman, board member at the JCCI and ROLACO; Sobhi Batterjee, president and CEO of the Saudi German Hospital Group and previous MENA EOY winner; Dr. Saad Al-Ghamdi, executive vice president at Abdul Latif Jameel Co. Ltd; Loay Nazer, founder and chairman of the Nazer Group; Anis Moamina, CEO of SEDCO Holding; Aamer Alireza, CEO of Red Sea Gateway Terminal and Saudi Trade & Export Development Company; and Rakan Al-Eidi, managing director of Endeavor Saudi Arabia.

Ahmed Reda, EOY Leader at Ernst & Young, said: “We give great importance to supporting start-ups and rewarding outstanding entrepreneurs.

“Over the years, the award has grown to become a source of strength and inspiration for generations of entrepreneurs around the world.

“As a renowned premier business program that recognizes noteworthy entrepreneurs, we have been able to attract such a high caliber of individuals to this year’s judging panel.

“Each judge brings to the table a unique business background and diverse entrepreneurial expertise.

“This year we look forward to bringing the program to Saudi Arabia and supporting the winner as he or she represents Saudi Arabia at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year in June.”

The judging panel will meet with and assess the finalists prior to selecting the winners for the EOY award.

The finalists will be judged on the basis of six criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, innovation, community impact and personal integrity/influence.

The winner of the Saudi EOY award will serve as a prime example for establishing and running a successful company and will represent the country at the World EOY awards ceremony in Monte Carlo in June.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on April 2, 2014.

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