Kuwait, March 27, 2013: PwC, the world’s leading professional services firm, announced today (27th March) the winners of the PIN2 Challenge at an awards ceremony held at the Chamber of Commerce. The PIN2 Challenge is a business plan competition driven by PwC and sponsored by Zain, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co., Wharton Club of the Middle East, and 4 Films Printing Group Company.
Over a period of three days, participating teams presented great ideas and well developed business plans to a panel of judges comprised of five senior executives from the sponsoring organizations.
The PIN² Challenge kick-started in October 2012 targeting high school students in Kuwait and inviting them to develop plans that address issues of sustainability, technology, design and governance with mentorship from the sponsoring organizations. Over the course of six months, the PIN² Challenge attracted 13 teams, comprised of 100 students from the American International School, Al Bayan Bilingual School, New English School, and Universal American School.
The top three winners of the PIN² Challenge are as follows:
1- The Global Youth Initiative team was awarded first place for its Youth Community and Sports Center (YCSC). The idea of the project is to set up a youth community and sports center. The proposed center is intended to give teenagers an afterschool outlet where they can spend their time engaged in various social, athletic and communal activities.
2- The Little Entrepreneurs team was awarded second place for its Recycle Kuwait business idea. The idea of the project is to set up a business that will produce basic accessories and furniture items from recycled and reused materials. The project’s business model is founded upon raising awareness about reusing and recycling materials and reaching out to the community for their supply of materials. The team intends on sourcing materials from consumers and turning them into creatively iconic household items.
3- The AAT Corporation team was awarded third place for its Green It business idea. The idea of the project is to set up a consultancy firm that will focus on helping hospitals, schools and the owners of buildings become green and energy efficient. The focus is on ensuring these buildings implement energy efficient technologies and designs that will allow them to become LEED certified.
On this occasion, Fouad Douglas, Country Senior Partner of PwC Kuwait office and the Chair Judge of the competition said, “The students demonstrated strong entrepreneurial mindsets and tackled key business issues analytically and creatively. It was impressive to see that most teams addressed the issue of sustainability directly and had a strong understanding of the main business challenges of today and tomorrows world.
“At PwC, we encourage our own talent to grow, develop and lead their own projects; either when catering to clients or seeing-through a corporate social responsibility initiative like this one. Through this initiative we hope to continue building future leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit to excel in their professional lives.”
The inaugural year of the PIN² Challenge has provided students with an unforgettable and valuable experience by developing their analytical and problem-solving skills, communication and team spirit. Students worked in diverse teams incorporating challenges relevant to the prevailing social, economic, and technological environment, which allowed them to develop and grow. The students also developed strong relationships with their mentors that will continue even after the competition has ended. These relationships helped give the students new perspectives on how to tackle business issues in addition to giving them insight on their future aspirations for their careers. This will continue to be an integral part of the PIN2 Challenge as it expands its reach in Kuwait and the Middle East region.
Omar Al Omar, Zain Kuwait’s Chief Executive Officer states that, “Zain’s participation in this program positively demonstrates Zain’s commitment to support the youth, who have the skills and creative abilities to contribute to the growth of society. Focusing on the development of entrepreneurial talents and capacity building, Zain’s participation in the PIN2 Challenge plays a pivotal role in the betterment of society, whereby implementing the basic values of human development as part of Zain’s long term CSR and strategic objectives.”
Emad Al Ablani, NBK Deputy General Manager, Human Resources Group, said “NBK is dedicated towards supporting young people and empowering them towards achieving their goals. NBK’s sponsorship to the PIN² Challenge comes as part of our continuous efforts to develop and support young talents. NBK is elated with the outcome of the program and looks forward to seeing the participants moving into key leadership roles in the near future.”
Faisal Al-Mutawa, Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co., Chairman and Managing Director said: “We’ve repeatedly witnessed how entrepreneurs and the private sector, as a whole, continue to have an active role in the advancement of societies across the world, especially when they exist in an environment that supports and champions innovation, competition, and achievement. We were keen on supporting PwC’s PIN² Challenge in Kuwait for those very reasons, and we were happy to see students engaged in the challenge, competing side by side with their fellow students.
“Now that the initiative has successfully concluded, we thank PwC for giving us the opportunity to inspire and mentor these students, and the chance to build the seeds of business literacy skills that are required for them to succeed in the future.”
“We congratulate all the winning teams and everyone who has worked extremely hard in the last six months to present compelling innovative ideas. We urge them to continue to challenge themselves in these fields and to continue to work hard to reach their maximum potential.”
Fouad Douglas added “The PIN² Challenge has been great experience for students, sponsors, and PwC alike. PwC and the sponsors hope to expand this competition in Kuwait in order to encourage such collaborative partnerships and give back to the community in which we operate by inspiring the youth and developing future talent.”
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Zain is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East providing mobile voice and data services to over 41.4 million active customers as of 30 September 2011. With a commercial presence in 7 countries, Zain operates in the following countries: Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and is currently rolling out its network in South Sudan. In Lebanon, the company manages ‘mtc-touch’ on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain has a 15.5% stake in Wana Telecom, now branded ‘INWI’, through a joint venture. Zain is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (stock ticker: ZAIN).
About National Bank of Kuwait
NBK was founded in 1952 as the first indigenous bank and the first joint stock company in Kuwait and the Gulf Region. NBK reported profits of USD 1,085 million (KD 305.1 million) for 2012, among the highest in the Arab world. NBK's total assets were USD 58.4 billion (KD 16.4 billion) at the end of 2012, while shareholder equity stood at USD 8.2 billion (KD 2.3 billion).
NBK is the largest financial institution in Kuwait with effective market dominance in the commercial banking market and has been consistently awarded the highest credit rating of all banks in the region from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings. NBK also stands out in terms of its local and international network, which includes branches, subsidiaries and representative offices in China, Geneva, London, Paris, New York, and Singapore alongside its regional presence in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, and the UAE.
NBK’s Long-Term Rating:
About Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co.
Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co. (AAW) is an international group, considered as one of the largest trading and commercial companies in the Middle East, representing over forty different global brands in the surging Middle East retail and consumer goods market.
AAW is a diversified group of companies successfully operating across a range of continuously growing sectors like Consumer Goods, Pharmaceuticals, Furniture and Carpets, Real Estate, Kitchen Furniture, Home Appliances, Outdoor Gear, Sports and Fashion, and having various world class brands in its portfolio like P&G, Pfizer, Nike, TAF, Crocs, Curves, Puma, Reebok, Prince, Shoebox New York, among many others.
For more information call 1804449 or visit www.aaw.com.
About Wharton Club of the Middle East
The Wharton Club of the Middle East is the association that represents the alumni of the Wharton School in the Middle East. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1881, is globally recognized as the world’s leading business school for its academic rigor, intellectual leadership, and ongoing innovation across every major discipline in business education. Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community, and is proud to have a network of more than 82,000 graduates across every continent.
The Club is composed of the alumni of the Wharton School who reside or are connected to the Middle East. The members of the Wharton Club of the Middle East are committed to strengthening the ties between the school and the region, and engaging youth through value-added initiatives. For more information, please visit either: www.wharton.upenn.edu or www.whartonme.com.
About Four Films Printing Group Co.
FourFilms Printing Group Co. is an international printing group and an industry leader in Kuwait and the region. FourFilms Printing Group Co. operates in the MENA region and Europe.
FourFilms Printing Group Co. uses cutting-edge technology to provide customized printing solutions to private individuals, small businesses, large corporations and government sectors. FourFilms Printing Group Co. offers offset printing and several services for leather boxes, wedding cards, wide format printing, and exhibition event management.
For more information please call 24820150 or visit www.fourfilms.com.