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Dubai SME provides Dhs170m worth of incentives, services to entrepreneurs in 2019

Dubai SME provides Dhs170m worth of incentives, services to entrepreneurs in 2019

Overall, local entrepreneurs received over Dhs630m worth of incentives and support from Dubai SME since its inception in 2002

Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy, mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector and entrepreneurship, has provided nearly Dhs170m of exemptions and incentives to grow businesses in diverse sectors.

In 2019, 3,871 Emirati entrepreneurs benefited from the startup advisory services of Dubai SME, Dubai Media Office reported.

Overall, local entrepreneurs received over Dhs630m worth of incentives and support from Dubai SME since its inception in 2002. The total number of Emirati entrepreneurs supported to date by Dubai SME also increased to 38,565 by the end of 2019.

“Dubai SME is delighted to have enabled SMEs and entrepreneurs acquire new skills and capabilities as well as capitalise on government initiatives and growth partnerships during the past year. The year, in general, has been exciting for Emirati entrepreneurs considering the regional and global economic challenges, especially since it witnessed the launch of a number of initiatives by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, and economic incentives to support SMEs,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

“Universities in Dubai are being transformed into economic and creative free zones to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, in line with the 50 Year Charter of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” Al Janahi said.

The Hamdan Innovation Incubator (Hi2) in Dubai SME has supported 651 startups to date, including 68 in 2019 alone. In 2019, four new business incubators and accelerators were also accredited in Dubai, including the first accredited incubator for students at the GEMS Modern Academy.

The number of accredited incubators in Dubai now stands at six.

Hi2 is also working on developing a network of incubators to support innovative enterprise, particularly in the fields of design and technologies relating to sustainability.

“We are keen to optimise opportunities for SMEs and support them throughout their life cycle, helping them remain globally competitive, grow sustainably, and contribute to economic development in Dubai and the UAE. Dubai SME has specific institutions and initiatives to impart critical skills to entrepreneurs, and we also facilitate SME access to financing and government procurement,” said Al Janahi.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund (MBRF), the financial arm of Dubai SME, provided financing to 75 SMEs in 2019.

To date, 172 projects have received financing products worth over Dhs80m from the fund, 64 per cent of which was facilitated through Beehive, the fintech partner of the fund.

Startup subsidies were also given to 1,470 Emirati SMEs in 2019, bringing the total number of SMEs that have benefited from exemptions and incentives to 7,590.

The value of contracts facilitated by Dubai SME to its registered and qualified members as part of the Government Procurement Programme (GPP) exceeded Dhs973m in 2019.

Since its inception, Dubai SME has facilitated Dhs5.67bn worth of contracts for its members under GPP, from government, semi-government and private entities.

Meanwhile, Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, the educational arm of Dubai SME, trained 6,862 entrepreneurs in 2019.

The academy offers training in diverse disciplines of business start-up, management, and development, and has so far trained 21,775 entrepreneurs.

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