Dubai rolled out on Wednesday a digital crowdfunding platform to enable entrepreneurs to secure the required funding to start up their businesses.
The platform, ‘Dubai Next,’ allows young startups and innovators from diverse nationalities in Dubai to secure the funding to launch their projects.
Unveiling the innovative initiative, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is a key pillar of the national economy, and that the UAE continues to give increasing attention to the sector through initiatives and programmes launched to support entrepreneurship in the city.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has continued to emphasise the role of youth in building the future and the importance of empowering them through providing them with opportunities that enable them to reach their full potential. We are committed to realising his vision and introducing solutions and initiatives that will transform their creative energies into achievements that support our development journey,” said Sheikh Hamdan.
“The ‘Dubai Next’ platform will contribute to stimulating positive competition and encouraging youth to put forward innovative ideas as well as obtain community support through crowdfunding. It will also empower a generation that is capable of innovating to succeed in a competitive commercial environment, thus reinforcing the fundamental role of SMEs in economic development so that the UAE can continue to stand as a model for youth empowerment,” the Dubai Crown Prince said in a statement.
Dubai has an ideal environment for supporting innovative ideas and initiatives, especially projects by Emiratis. The new platform will ensure that at least 50 per cent of the funding required is obtained through crowdfunding.
“Crowdfunding is the use of small amounts of capital from individuals to finance a new business venture. With the use of digital technologies, aspiring entrepreneurs can now present their ideas and projects to a larger segment of the community locally and globally, and obtain direct financing or support in marketing the idea,” said the statement issued by Dubai Media Office.
Sheikh Hamdan praised the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (Dubai SME), the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the SME sector, for its role in strengthening the UAE’s status as a leading pioneer in promoting entrepreneurship. Trade is an essential component of the national economy and part of the social and cultural heritage of the UAE, Sheikh Hamdan said, noting that the UAE has always been keen to provide youth with incentives to launch their own businesses as an alternative to working in traditional jobs.
Since its launch in 2002, Dubai SME has continued to provide vital support and guidance to SMEs and emerging companies, while also introducing youth to entrepreneurial opportunities, new trends and tools in order to create a successful enterprise. The launch of the initiative is also part of several efforts taken to support the growth of SMEs. A series of economic incentives and policies were introduced in the last few months that benefited many startups.
Sami Al Qamzi, director general of Dubai Economy, said Dubai continues to promote entrepreneurship, embrace innovators and creative entrepreneurs and provide them with all forms of support.
“Dubai has enabled entrepreneurs to implement their vision and transform their ideas into distinct projects that support sustainable development and efforts to build a knowledge economy. The city’s ongoing efforts will contribute to enhancing the emirate's position locally and regionally and enable it to reach the largest segment of young entrepreneurs in diverse sectors,” Al Qamzi said.
Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said the ‘Dubai Next’ platform is fully aligned with the Dubai SME’s mission to create platforms that promote entrepreneurship. “The launch of the initiative reflects the Government of Dubai’s keenness to provide innovative solutions to the challenges facing creators and innovators and highlight their capabilities in various sectors as well as provide them with community support, guidance and follow-up support in line with the UAE’s strategic goals for sustainable growth and promoting knowledge and technologies,” said Al Janahi.
The platform provides the ideal choice for students and innovators to present their projects to potential investors and supporters. It enables emerging enterprises to grow, expand and launch new products.
Dubai SME provides a package of incentives for those who obtain financing on ‘Dubai Next.’ The package includes incubating the idea in the Hamdan Innovation Incubator (HI2) or in one of the 14 certified incubators in Dubai.
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