Dubai: Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development has launched a startup programme to support up to 10 SMEs and startups. The project, called ‘Level Up’, will help them “seize new opportunities that will stabilise, strengthen and scale up their business”.
The tailor-made programme will focus on elevating priority sectors in Abu Dhabi, by accelerating the development of home-grown ventures, creating sector jobs and driving forward UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based economy. It includes bespoke learning, networking events, group training and mentor sessions. Participants will connect with industry specialists, potential investors, buyers and partners, to help reinvent their business model.
“Entrepreneurs, SMEs and startups play a fundamental role in contributing to our economy,” said Mouza Al Nasri, Acting CEO of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development. “That is why we are positioning them at the heart of this programme designed to provide seamless access to new markets, technologies and expertise. The success of this project will help in strengthening the growth potential for post-COVID-19 recovery with the aim of turning Abu Dhabi and the UAE into a greater powerhouse of creativity and innovation.”
Level Up is scheduled to operate in consecutive stages, each lasting from two to four plus months. The general format will include two months of learning and mentorship, a forum and demo day, plus two meetup events. Sectors to be covered include finance, ICT, health services, biopharma, Agricultural Technology (AgTech), tourism and real estate.
The first stage of the programme, ‘Reimaging the Future of Agriculture and Food’ will run from October 1 to December 6 2021, aiming to contribute to the National Food Security Strategy 2051 by accelerating the development of resilient and sustainable agricultural practices. “We remain flexible and agile in providing the right support for small businesses amid changing circumstances and evolving needs of the marketplace. We remain proactive in readjusting our support processes to meet the evolution of challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Al Nasri.