DUBAI – Dubai SME – the agency of the Department of Economic Development, DED, mandated to develop the Small and Medium Enterprise, SME, sector – has supported 4,227 Emirati entrepreneurs and provided a package of incentives and facilities worth AED101 million in 2018. The agency maintained its strategic focus on promoting innovative entrepreneurial ideas and initiatives.

The number of entrepreneurs supported in 2018 represents an increase of 32 percent over the previous year and the increase in the value of the entrepreneurial support package was 63 percent over 2017.

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, emphasised the role of the agency in promoting SME competitiveness and developing the 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, 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. All the projects supported were unique in their elements of talent and service quality, and also capable of successfully competing with international companies operating in Dubai.

“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.

He 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.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2019.

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