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Emirates Development Bank (EDB) has assigned Dh30 million funding via the Beehive platform to qualifying businesses. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Emirates Development Bank (EDB) Sunday announced that it has signed an agreement with Beehive, the UAE’s first Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platform, to expand funding options for the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The announcement follows EDB’s strategic pledge to lend up to Dh30 billion to SMEs, startups and large corporates across five priority sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, infrastructure, food security and technology over the next five years.

As an institutional investor, EDB has initially assigned Dh30 million funding via the Beehive platform to qualifying businesses. For its part, Beehive will facilitate business loans to creditworthy SMEs looking to expand operations or improve working capital.

The funds disbursed through this partnership have the potential to support hundreds of SMEs in the region, reinforcing EDB’s new strategy to increase financial accessibility to Emirati and UAE resident owned SMEs and businesses. The EDB strategy aims to help SMEs to access finance and grow their business, which should boost their contribution to UAE’s non-oil GDP to over 70 per cent by 2021, besides enhancing in-country value, productivity and employment.

“The collaboration with Beehive is part of our mission to bridge the funding gap by offering SMEs greater and easier access to financial sources. Through our combined efforts, we look forward to strengthening the SME ecosystem and supporting the UAE’s goals to build a robust knowledge-based economy,” said Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB.