Program Description.
The Canon AKTASHIF Program is an annual creative careers competition. It is for all youth between the ages of 14 and 25 residing in the Middle East. This program will help you turn your passion for photography, videography or printing into a rewarding career.
Between June and December 2020, Canon will release four different modules. Collectively, these modules will lead you through the process of designing and launching a successful business. Participants who complete all four modules by 29 December 2020 will be eligible to win the Grand Prize. .

Start Your Creative Journey Module
This is the second of four modules. If you haven’t completed module 1 yet, you can access it on the program website. The other three modules are:

  • Module 1: Discover Your Creative Voice
  • Module 3: Pursue Your Creative Passion
  • Module 4: Unleash Your Creative Career

Your Task
If you want to become a successful photographer, videographer or printer, you’ll need a business concept. What value, services or products will you offer your customers? How will you attract and retain customers? What will your expenses be, and where will your funding come from? How will your business be structured? In short, you need to show how your business will remain financially sustainable over time. This module challenges you to define your business’ objectives and strategies for achieving them.
Your business concept should be two to three pages long. It should include the following seven sections:

  1. Product: The product or service that you will offer
  2. Market: The size and demographics of your target market
  3. Marketing Plan: Your plan for marketing your services and reaching customers
  4. Competition: Research on your competition’s strengths and weaknesses
  5. Operations: What you will need in order to operate your business
  6. Finances: How you will track income and expenses
  7. Validation: Data suggesting that the business will be successful

Module Rationale
Having a business concept is an essential step in the process of launching your creative career.
A business concept is a document that describes the most basic parts of a business: what you’re selling, who you’re selling to and how you plan to achieve your business goals. Committing your ideas to paper is a clarifying process. Writing a business concept will help you make decisions, create an action plan and even come up with new ideas. But a business concept isn’t just for you. Business concepts are also necessary if you want to pitch your business to investors or explain your business to future employees.

To enter the competition, upload the following deliverables through the submission form on the program website no later than 11:59 PM GST on 29 December 2020:

  • 2-3 page business concept for your creative career (File Format: PDF)
  • Two-minute video pitch of your business (Video Format: mp4)
  • Submissions in English and Arabic will both be accepted.

Canon will select three winners for the Start Your Creative Journey Module to receive:

  • A first, second or third place award
  • An M50 Canon camera
  • Their work featured on Canon’s social media channels

At the end of the program, Canon will select one Grand Prize winner. Participants who complete all four modules by 29 December 2020 will be eligible to win the Grand Prize, which includes:
  • 15,000 AED cash prize
  • 15,000 AED worth of Canon products
  • A year-long membership at a local entrepreneurship incubator where the winner can launch his or her businesses

Judging Criteria
A panel of photographers, printers and other creative professionals will assess the strength of your business concept based on the following criteria:

  1. Product or Service: How compelling is your mission statement and your description of the value you offer?
  2. Market: : Have you documented your market size and demographics?
  3. Marketing Strategy: : Do you have an effective plan for reaching customers and achieving your sales goals?
  4. Competition: : Have you researched your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses? Do you have a competitive advantage?
  5. Operations: : Have you considered what you will need in order to operate your business (e.g., staffing, equipment, space, etc.)?
  6. Finances: : Do you have an organized system for tracking expenses and income?
  7. Validation: : What data, tests or other evidence have you collected suggesting that the business will be successful?
  8. Usefulness: : Is your business concept going to help you launch your business?
  9. Sustainability: : Does your business concept ensure that your business will achieve ongoing success?

Submission Form
Submit your work through the submission form on the program website.

Email with questions.