DUBAI – Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development, DED, mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise, SME, sector, supported 4,227 Emirati entrepreneurs with incentives and facilities worth AED101 million in 2018.
The number of entrepreneurs represents an increase of 32 percent over the previous year and the increase in the value of the entrepreneurial support package was 63 percent. Meanwhile, the number of entrepreneurs participating in the various training and development programmes of Dubai SME reached 5,767 in 2018, a 163 percent increase over 2017. Dubai SME also supported the establishment of 1,175 Emirati enterprises altogether in 2018. The net results achieved by Dubai SME in 2018 underline its key role in translating the leadership’s directives in encouraging as well as supporting youth entrepreneurship and enhancing SME competitiveness through improved productivity and increased contributions to the economy in Dubai and the UAE. Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, commented, “Since its inception in 2002 Dubai SME has pursued a clear strategy towards translating the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to enable the citizen to be part of the economic development process and a true patron of the State. True to this spirit we strive to support entrepreneurship and develop the SME sector in Dubai, which is the backbone of the emirate’s economy.” Al Janahi also emphasised the role of Dubai SME in promoting SME competitiveness and developing the local SME sector as part of making Dubai a global hub for innovative SMEs and the ideal platform to create partnerships for their sustainable development and global growth. The Mohammed bin Rashid Fund, MBRF, the financial arm of Dubai SME, was able to support 18 projects with a financial assistance of AED14 million in 2018, an increase of 147 percent over 2017, added Al Janahi. “Dubai SME has progressively expanded the scope of its services and facilities to the wider GCC and regional markets while paying special attention to promoting the spirit of innovation and talent in the industry and among various age groups through training and development programmes as well as financial and advisory support to entrepreneurial ideas and projects,” Al Janahi said. Al Janahi also mentioned that the Hamdan Innovation Incubator, Hi2, in Dubai SME served more than 38 start-ups from the UAE and across the GCC in 2018. Hi2 guides entrepreneurs through the idea development, business start-up and enterprise growth phases with the best strategies and support.
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