Whether you are a student, a fresh graduate or even a working professional, the SkillUp academy is here to nurture you at every step of the way and inculcate long-term entrepreneurial culture in the UAE. The programmes under SkillUp academy will focus on creating enriching and engaging learning journeys by providing you with the relevant resources to explore and compete within an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

SkillUp Start: develop your entrepreneurship skills and mind-set to start your business and embark on your entrepreneurial journey

SkillUp Compete: compete with like-minded people to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set, come up with your next business idea or improve your business

SkillUp Experience: immerse yourself in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and experience what it feels to be an entrepreneur through exposure to different parts of the ecosystem

SkillUp Enable: Empower yourself to improve your business and reach customers in an optimal way.


Trains different segments of the UAE population on entrepreneurship skills and mind-set to start their businesses and embark on their entrepreneurial journey.

SkillUp Start

The Entrepreneurial Nation, an initiative by The UAE Ministry of Economy, is proud to announce the launch of SkillUp Start in partnership with BizWorld UAE. SkillUp Start is an education programme to help students become entrepreneurs and think like one. The programme is designed to train applicants in critical skills like financial literacy, leadership, creativity, and teamwork, among others.

The Program is available in both languages; Arabic, and English.

For Students and Parents:

What you get:

  • A fun competition to learn about how to start and operate your own business.

  • Understanding entrepreneurship, financial management, marketing and advertising, product development, research and sales.

  • An opportunity to win a trip to Silicon Valley.

  • An opportunity to pitch in front of world-class entrepreneurs and investors.

  • Certificate of completion for those who complete the full 6 week training program

How it works:

  • Team of students (3 - 6 students) can apply to the competition with a mentor or teacher

  • Students have access to BizWorld content and supporting documents online

  • Students have access to Weekly Q&A Sessions

  • All teams submit a video pitch and a full application form

  • 10 top teams will be selected to Pitch to a judging panel

  • 1 team will be selected to win an experiential trip to Silicon Valley during the summer of 2022

  • 1 team will be selected for the People's Choice Award via online voting for the best team based on their video pitch

  • Students to submit final Presentation on May 21st, 2022

Young Entrepreneur Award

  • One-week trip to include campus visits at: Google, Draper University and other leading companies.

  • Workshop will be conducted at Draper University with leaders in the field.

  • Excursions in Silicon Valley.

People's Choice Award

  • The winning team will a special people's choice award


  • Students studying in the UAE between grades 8-12

  • (3-6) team members (the applicant plus 2-5)

  • Reference from a mentor/teacher/industry expert.

  • Business model canvas

  • Video pitch

Judging criteria

  • Clear articulation of problem statement and business idea solution

  • Clear target audience and geographic target

  • Scalability

  • Feasibility

  • Creativity and originality

  • Understanding of funding requirements

  • Presentation skills

  • Teamwork and effort

Registrations are now closed!

On-Demand Content




Meeting Link

Mar 24th, 2022


Q&A session

Apr 14th, 2022


Q&A session

Apr 28th, 2022


Q&A session

May 11th, 2022


Presentation Skills session

May 19th, 2022


Q&A session

May 21st, 2022


Submission deadline 

May 28th, 2022


Final pitch presentation demo day

Pending final platform choice and event management details

June 4th, 2022


Winners announcement

Through SkillUp Compete with MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab the SkillUp Academy organises a UAE Students and recent graduates Competition. The competition aims to find the best and innovative university students and recent graduates, strategically located in the UAE, to join a global ecosystem.

What you get:

  • Equity free cash prizes per winning team once your business is incorporated.

  • Business setup and registration support.

  • Office space.

  • Fast-tracking to an industry-leading accelerator program.

  • Mentorship and introduction global market potential and capital through a network of strategic partners.

  • Media exposure and recognition.


  • UAE-based university student or recent graduate (graduated in 2016 or later).

  • At least two team members (the applicant plus one) or one member with a recommendation from a mentor/professor/industry expert.

  • Validated business model canvas with a clear plan to grow.

For your inquiries, please visit our FAQ section

*Terms & conditions

Applications are now closed

SkillUp Embark with Google

A program specially designed for business owners to improve their digital presence and provide them with the tools they need to start selling online.

What’s in the program:

  • Online training in small groups.

  • Personal digital mentoring.

  • Practical training.

  • Branding .

Applications are now closed

Boost with Facebook

A workshop designed to equip small and medium businesses (SMBs) with the digital skills they need to grow their business online.


  • Educate businesses on how to hone their digital skills.

  • Shed light on some of the stories these businesses can keep in mind to get inspired.

  • Share valuable insights for these SMBs to drive their business forward.


Any business looking to learn more about Facebook’s platforms and tools.

Join us now