UAE's Ministry of Economy, Flat6labs launch initiative to attract SMEs from around the world
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Ministry of Economy, Flat6labs launch initiative to attract SMEs to the UAE

Ministry of Economy, Flat6labs launch initiative to attract SMEs to the UAE

The initiative will enable startups to compete in local and global markets through Flat6labs Ignite programme

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UAE MoE, Flat6Labs tie up

The Ministry of Economy, represented by The Entrepreneurial Nation, in collaboration with Flat6labs, a leading seed and early-stage venture capital firm, has launched a new initiative to attract small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the UAE.

The two organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding  (MoU) to support the ‘Flat6lab Ignite’ programme, which will be held from August 28–October 10, and will award a training session, initial funding of Dhs550,000 and other benefits offered by The Entrepreneurial Nation to the winners, based on specific criteria.

Read: ADQ’s venture platform, Flat6Labs reveal startups under Ignite programme’s new cycle

According to the state news agency, WAM, Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary at the UAE Ministry of Economy, said, “The UAE attaches great significance to the entrepreneurial sector and it is a key pillar of our new economic model based on knowledge and innovation. Moreover, it plays an important role in the diversification of our national economy and promoting its global competitiveness, in line with the directives of our wise leadership and in line with the Principles of the 50 and the UAE Centennial 2071 goals.”

He added that the Ministry of Economy is continuing its efforts to establish partnerships with leading local and global entities that can contribute to the development of the UAE’s entrepreneurial sector. This will help ensure a highly supportive environment for this sector in the country in line with international best practices.

Under the terms of the MoU, several advantages and incentives will be available to companies that sign up for The Entrepreneurial Nation programme. These include two golden tickets for the winners to attend a four-day training session at the Flat6Labs headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

The training session, which has been designed according to the Lean Startup approach, will provide the participants with the required assistance and ensure that they know the basics of entrepreneurship. Other incentives include the opportunity to obtain initial funding of up to Dhs550,000 and four-month financing against the shares programme.

Flat6Labs will also bear all expenses, including travel, accommodation, and visa costs for the winning companies from outside the country to come and participate in the training session in the UAE capital. These companies will also get strategic guidance, a training course with startups, experts, and academic partners to develop their entrepreneurial skills, and many other advantages and services provided by Flat6Labs’ partners.

Ryaan Sharif, general manager of Flat6 Labs in the UAE, said, “We are proud to partner with the Ministry of Economy for this initiative, which will support the UAE’s journey to becoming a global hub for entrepreneurship. The initiative will enable startups to compete in local and global markets through Flat6labs Ignite programme, from which nearly 27 companies have graduated since its launch, and many of them have achieved success.”

As for the criteria for acceptance to the programme, the startup must be registered as a private company, and it must have a minimum viable product, with promising results for current use and future development, preferably with revenues.

In addition, one or more founding members of the venture must remain in Abu Dhabi through the duration of the programme, and must prove the urgent need for financing. The companies that receive financing under the programme must be willing to move their headquarters to the UAE and invest in existing entities with intellectual property, not a branch or subsidiary company. Several other criteria have also been set to ensure the quality of investments and improve the performance of SMEs.

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