Dubai SME extends Dh192m worth of incentives in 2020
The net value added by national companies to the GDP in Dubai is estimated to have reached Dh6 billion by the end of 2020 and together, they accounted for over 43,000 jobs
Dubai SME has announced the results of its innovative initiatives that it rolled out and strengthened to support to the entrepreneur community in 2020, enabling them to stand up to the unprecedented challenges brought in by Covid-19.
Start-ups and entrepreneurs in Dubai received over Dh192 million worth of incentives in 2020, compared to Dh170 million in 2019, as Dubai SME strengthened its efforts to support members overcome the pandemic challenge.
Added initiatives and incentives by Dubai SME to help start-ups withstand the pandemic challenge has taken the net volume of support provided by Dubai SME to Emirati entrepreneurs and national companies since its inception to Dh823.16 million.
Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said: “The Dubai SME strategy is aligned with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which places the citizen at the core of economic development. At Dubai SME, we strive to support entrepreneurship and the development of the small and medium enterprises in Dubai, which are the backbone of the emirate’s economy."
Al Janahi added: “The global outbreak of Covid-19 called for innovative solutions and Dubai SME drew on its knowledge of the importance of entrepreneurship and resources in supporting entrepreneurial initiatives to diversify our services, programmes, and incentives. We also focussed on reaching out to the largest possible number of start-ups and entrepreneurs, reassuring them through field visits and advisory services, as well as extending them financial support to maintain cashflows and invest in business development.”
The past year also saw 1,675 Emirati enterprises being launched in Dubai, compared to 1,470 during the previous year, which showed a strong appetite prevailing among UAE nationals to establish own businesses despite new challenges, and also reinforced the emirate’s status as a competitive hub for successful entrepreneurship and innovation.
With the significant additions to the start-up community, the number of Dubai SME members reached 4,786 by the end of 2020, of which 74 per cent were commercial licences while the remaining were in the Intelaq category of licences for home-based businesses. The net value added by enterprises to the GDP in Dubai is estimated to have reached Dh6 billion by end of 2020 and together, they accounted for over 43,000 jobs.
The year 2020 also accounted for Dh43.3 million in a total of Dh123 million worth of loans provided by Dubai SME Fund to entrepreneurs and start-ups since its inception in 2002, reflecting the added attention of the SME development agency on ensuring business continuity and growth in the face of the pandemic. Dubai SME members also won contracts worth Dh896.7 million under the Government Procurement Programme (GPP) in 2020 and the net value of GPP contracts awarded to them till date has now crossed Dh7.5 billion.
The number of SMEs that benefitted from the financial advisory services of Dubai SME Fund last year was 536 while a total of 42,128 SMEs took advantage of various kinds of advisory services provided by the agency since its establishment. Another 532 member SMEs were supported by way of commercial promotion services, while 11,264 people attended the various training programmes offered by Dubai SME Entrepreneurship Academy on new and emerging disciplines of entrepreneurship, including crisis management and innovation.
Meanwhile, the Hamdan Innovation Incubator (HI2) in Dubai SME, which has a portfolio of over 600 innovative start-ups, supported 30 members with various incentives and packages. Last year also saw a significant addition to the number of business incubators and accelerators accredited by Dubai SME as part of ensuring support, guidance and follow-up to emerging and innovative SMEs.
Overall happiness in terms of quality and efficiency of the services provided by Dubai SME to members also improved in 2020 as the happiness index rose to 90.07 per cent, from 89.2 per cent in 2019.
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