DUBAI SKYLINE / One Za’abeel
The eligibility conditions have been revealed for the new Dubai SME fund. Those in retail and light manufacturing gets a big shot in the arm. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai based small and mid-sized businesses in the food and beverage space, fast moving consumer goods, and retail can apply for the newly launched Dh500 million ‘Dubai International Growth Initiative’. 

Businesses into e-commerce, services and manufacturing sectors can also apply as part of the initial recipients of the Dubai funding program. The first phase will facilitate up to Dh15 million in funding to SMEs with Emirates NBD’s support, for periods of up to 7 years. 

A joint steering committee - with representatives from Dubai Government and Emirates NBD - will be responsible for guiding the program.

The 'Dubai International Growth Initiative' is aligned with the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to double the size of the emirate's GDP. To be eligible, the SMEs must:

  1. Be founded and operational in Dubai, with a proven successful business model.
  2. Use the financing to establish global business expansion of their current line of business.
  3. Effectively manage the repayments based on cashflows from their current operations.
  4. Present a comprehensive business plan outlining their strategy for global growth.
  5. Operate within the sectors of F&B, FMCG, retail, including parts and machinery distribution, e-commerce, services and manufacturing.

Once the eligibility criteria are met, a dedicated specialist will do a review of the applicants’ business, followed by the joint steering committee’s review for inclusion in the initiative. Qualified applicants will work  with Emirates NBD to receive 'tailored financial solutions' to address their unique growth needs.

Application process
All Dubai-founded SMEs, irrespective of the nationality of the owner, can opt in for the 'Dubai International Growth Initiative', which seeks to empower SMEs to expand internationally.

More sectors will be added

Additional sectors are to be added in subsequent phases. "Focusing on Dubai's key strategic sectors, the initiative ensures that approved participants will gain access to financing for their global expansion," the statement added.

The funds disbursed will allow them to manage cashflow effectively during their global expansion phase. The cost of financing will be based on the EIBOR (Emirates’ Interbank Offered Rate), with no additional margin.