Dubai SME pivotal in emirate’s transition as a global start-up hub

The impact of the initiative is reflected in the sheer size of Dubai’s SME community, which constitutes 99.2 per cent of the total companies in the emirate



by

Issac John

Published: Tue 2 Aug 2022, 7:53 PM

Last updated: Tue 2 Aug 2022, 7:58 PM

Dubai SME has supported the launch of over 11,000 start-ups and advised over 45,000 entrepreneurs over two decades in its 20-year journey towards positioning the emirate as one of the most competitive environments for entrepreneurial ideas and start-ups in the world, according to the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).

As a key player in building a competitive knowledge-based economy, Dubai SME (The Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development), has been pivotal in promoting entrepreneurship and attracting innovative business concepts to the emirate since its inception in 2022, DET said in a statement.

The impact of the initiative is reflected in the sheer size of Dubai’s SME community, which constitutes 99.2 per cent of the total companies in the emirate, accounting for 46.4 per cent of the added value and 50.5 per cent of the workforce in the emirate, it said.

“A pioneering initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in 2002 to spread the culture of entrepreneurship in Dubai and position the city as the global hub of entrepreneurship, Dubai SME has not only inspired Emiratis to transform their ideas into successful business ventures but also attracted companies and entrepreneurs worldwide looking for the best location to test-bed and nurture innovations,” said DET statement.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of the DET.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of the DET.

“The most significant achievement of Dubai SME is in inspiring people, especially the young and ambitious, to pursue entrepreneurship and empowering them to successfully navigate the challenges of starting a business. The leadership’s focus on ushering in policy reforms and legislations to create more economic opportunities have increased confidence among entrepreneurs as well as businesses and investors supporting them,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of the DET.

Dubai SME has also facilitated start-up loans worth Dh221 million through the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund over the last 20 years, in addition to procurement contracts worth over Dh8.5 billion for SMEs under a Government Procurement Programme.

A pioneering initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in 2002 to spread the culture of entrepreneurship in Dubai and position the city as the global hub of entrepreneurship, Dubai SME has not only inspired Emiratis to transform their ideas into successful business ventures but also attracted companies and entrepreneurs worldwide looking for the best location to test-bed and nurture innovations. The programmes, institutions and partnerships launched by Dubai SME have enabled it to evolve into a template for attracting talent and investments into new and emerging technologies, industries and services.

More than 45,000 entrepreneurs have benefitted from the advisory services of Dubai SME during the last 20 years while the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, the educational arm of Dubai SME, has trained 39,000 people in diverse disciplines of start-up development, thus preparing them for future success in the knowledge-driven economy in the UAE.

“Agile by nature, SMEs had a remarkable role in the economic resilience and adaptability Dubai continued to demonstrate during the recent pandemic phase. The year 2021 saw 2,031 SMEs being launched with the support of Dubai SME in varied services and sectors,” said Almarri.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

“The most significant achievement of Dubai SME is in promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and in transforming entrepreneurial creativity into a significant driver of economic development and employment in the UAE. Creative talents in Dubai have the best environment to pursue their dreams and lead innovations in businesses and industries of the future,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

“As Dubai turns a new page in its growth Dubai SME is aligning its strategic focus to attracting innovators and investors looking for new opportunities and experiences. Dubai SME will continue to help SMEs enhance their capabilities and embrace digital transformation while also facilitating access to financing and new markets for start-ups,” Al Janahi said.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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