Dubai: The past year saw 3,871 Emirati entrepreneurs benefit from the start-up advisory services of Dubai SME, with nearly Dh170 million of exemptions and incentives to launch and grow businesses in diverse sectors.
Overall, local entrepreneurs received over Dh630 million 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. Overall, Hamdan Innovation Incubator (Hi2)The total number of Emirati entrepreneurs supported to date by Dubai SME also increased to 38,565 by the end of 2019.
“Last 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,
Hamdan Innovation Incubator (Hi2) has supported 651 start-ups to date, including 68 in 2019 alone and the past year also saw four new business incubators and accelerators being 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, and 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 Dh80 million from the Fund, 64 per cent of which was facilitated through Beehive, the fintech partner of the Fund. Start-up 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 AED 973 million in 2019. Since its inception, Dubai SME has facilitated Dh5.67 billion worth of contracts for its members under GPP, from government, semi-government and private entities.
Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, the educational arm of Dubai SME, also had a full schedule in 2019, training 6,862 entrepreneurs. The Academy offers training in diverse disciplines of business start-up, management, and development, and has so far trained 21,775 entrepreneurs.