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15 student teams move to final round of ‘2014 Business for Better’ competition

Shortlisted teams to present their business plans in front of distinguished panel of judges

UAE, May 19, 2014 – 15 student teams coming from various UAE-based universities and colleges have been selected to move on to the final round of this year’s edition of the ‘Business for Better’ competition. The shortlisted teams will be given until May 31, 2014 to prepare a business plan based on their submitted concept and present this in front of the competition’s distinguished panel of judges. Universities that have made the cut for ‘Business for Better 2014’ include American University in Sharjah, American University in Dubai, Zayed University, University of Sharjah, Heriot Watt University, Abu Dhabi University, Amity University and Manipal University.

The competition, which is organized by Western Union Financial Services Inc., a leader in global payment services and Al Ansari Exchange, a UAE-based foreign exchange and worldwide money transfer company, is set to award the top three teams with scholarships worth up to AED 285,000. This year’s panel of judges is made up of leading experts from the UAE’s corporate segment. Judges include; Rashed Al Ansari, General Manager, Al Ansari Exchange; Hatem Sleiman, Regional Vice President, Western Union; Imad Ghandour, Founder & Managing Director, CedarBridge Partners; Lisa Labonte, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Arab Youth Venture Foundation; Alexandar Williams, Director for Strategy & Policy, Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development and Nina Curley, Journalist & Media Strategist / Editor-in-Chief, Wamda

Shortlisted teams will be facing the judges on May 31, 2014 to explain their business plans in length along with an accompanying slide show presentation. Judges will be judging the presentations according to the following criteria—originality of the idea, concept behind the idea and its business description, proposed implementation and methodology and financial planning and their corresponding budgets.

The ‘Business for Better’ competition was launched in 2011 during the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the strategic affiliation between Al Ansari and Western Union. The yearly contest is in line with the two leading companies’ social goal to give back to the community by assisting university students in their education. It also aims to provide a platform for the two organizations to collaborate with and discover talented young people who are capable of developing business ideas that are both sustainable and profitable.

About Al Ansari Exchange

Al Ansari Exchange is one of the leading remittance and foreign exchange service providers in the UAE. Founded in 1966, the company has established its presence through an extensive network of more than 130 conveniently located branches across the country to bring its services closer to its customers.

Al Ansari Exchange has established strategic partnerships with leading banking and financial institutions around the globe to reinforce its commitment to provide key financial services to its growing customer base. The company constantly introduces exclusive offerings and reward schemes for its customers, while maintaining a truly unique banking experience through its wide range of technology-driven financial services that cater to specific customer needs. Al Ansari Exchange employs a highly qualified and professional team of over 2,200 multinational employees, who serve more than 2 million multi-national customers per month in accordance with consistent level of service experience that meets and exceeds customer expectations.

In addition to remittance and foreign exchange services, Al Ansari Exchange also offers a host of other ancillary financial services, including bill payments, credit card encashment, international mobile top-up, investment and saving schemes, loyalty programs, e-exchange, payroll solutions and corporate cash collection services.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of December 31, 2013, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of over 500,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and over 100,000 ATMs. In 2013, The Western Union Company completed 242 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $82 billion of principal between consumers, and 459 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

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