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Dubai SME milestones and initiatives boost Emirate’s business sector in 2023


He Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (Dubai SMEs)a subsidiary of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET)expanded its role as a key driver of growth for the emirate’s small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, with the total value of its incentives and services reaching AED 233.4 million in 2023.

Dubai SME achieved important milestones in 2023, reflecting its commitment to contributing to the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, with the aim of doubling Dubai’s economy by 2033 and consolidating its position among the world’s top three cities in terms of business and tourism.

According Dubai SMEs In its annual report, the organization facilitated the establishment of 2,937 new businesses in 2023 and provided vital support and mentoring services to 1,186 Emirati entrepreneurs. The report also revealed that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund for SMEs, a key initiative of Dubai SME, provided funding worth AED 11.8 million to 16 projects, highlighting its critical role in supporting business initiatives. In addition, 46 Emirati entrepreneurs with startups in the technology sector received support from the services of the Business Incubation Department of Hamdan Innovation Incubator (HI2). Technology projects play a key role in fostering innovation, boosting productivity and contributing to competitiveness, economic growth and the creation of new employment opportunities. In addition, around 100 companies benefited from Dubai SMEs Entrepreneurship promotion services in 2023.

His Excellency Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, saying:

“Guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai SME strives to support entrepreneurship and the development of small and medium-sized businesses, which They are the backbone of the emirate. economy. Following the launch of the D33 Dubai Economic Agenda, 2023 marked a banner year for Dubai’s SMEs, and the organization continued to help accelerate the goal of positioning the emirate as the most competitive environment for business ideas and startups. As revealed in our 2023 annual report, we are committed to providing financial and technical support to Emirati entrepreneurs and startups. As we look to 2024 and beyond, we are determined to identify and capitalize on investment opportunities to further drive growth in the SME sector.”
Main achievements from 2002 to 2023

Since its creation in 2002, Dubai SME has supported 16,443 national companies, while 50,131 entrepreneurs have benefited from its services. By 2023, the cumulative value of incentives and services provided to Emirati entrepreneurs and domestic businesses has reached AED 1.5 billion.

Statistics highlights from 2002 to 2023 also included 46,209 entrepreneurs-in-training who benefited from Dubai SMEs training services and diploma programs. A total of 118 projects received financial support worth AED 103.14 million from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund for SMEs while 3,400 companies benefited from its entrepreneurship promotion services.

Main developments and initiatives in 2023

In June 2023, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, approved the adoption of the future model of Dubai SME. Through this strategic model, which is aligned with the Agenda D33, Dubai aims to support the establishment of 27,000 new Emirati businesses and support the growth of 8,000 Emirati entrepreneurs, enabling them to create 86,000 new employment opportunities and contribute approximately AED 9 billion to the emirate’s GDP. This aligns with the ambitious goals set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to duplicate Dubai SMEs achievements of the last 20 years: from 13,000 to 27,000 new companies.

Business incubator network

Dubai SME adopts a wide range of initiatives and programs, ranging from identifying talented entrepreneurs and nurturing business ideas to providing ongoing support to businesses throughout their growth and expansion journey. The certified incubator network in Dubai, consisting of 17 accredited incubators, welcomes all innovative ideas for testing and provides the necessary resources for their development, transforming these concepts into profitable commercial projects. Notably, six of these incubators operate within educational institutions, including universities and schools. This strategy is aligned with the sixth pillar of The Fifty Years Charter of Dubai, which emphasizes the transformation of local and private universities into economic and creative free zones, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship of students through incubation programs in universities. By integrating business incubators into universities, Dubai SME has introduced a transformative initiative aimed at improving infrastructure within educational institutions. This initiative seeks to cultivate the potential of young talents, stimulate their creativity and innovation, and instill an entrepreneurial mindset from an early age. By providing essential support in starting their businesses, these programs will empower students to establish their own businesses and embark on successful entrepreneurial journeys.

Focus on Hatta

To enable young people in the eastern region to start projects and turn their ideas into reality, Dubai SME established a new business facilitation center, Tasheelat the Hatta Community Center to support young entrepreneurs and SME owners, who can use smart services to issue tax-free business licenses, including a Intelaq License through the Invest in Dubai platform. The center also offers multipurpose rooms and a meeting room that serves as a hub for entrepreneurs.

Dubai SME It also organized workshops and certified professional diploma courses in entrepreneurship for the commercial and agricultural sectors, due to its economic importance in the Hatta region. More than 100 Emirati participants managing more than 50 projects attended the workshops. With a focus on training young potential entrepreneurs in Hatta, Dubai SME organizes specialized courses and programs, providing valuable advice, guidance and information. This included the organization of 19 workshops attended by more than 400 participants, as well as two specialized programs and numerous training courses aimed at entrepreneurs, focusing on creative thinking in entrepreneurship, innovation-based management and e-commerce. . The objective is to develop students’ skills and perfect them.

Preparation of local companies.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Dubai SME launched the Supply Chain Readiness Program in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS). The programme, designed to empower Emirati SME suppliers in line with global supply chain standards, conducted focus groups for a total of 41 SMEs to gather feedback from Emirati SME suppliers. Additionally, Dubai SME held two buyer roundtables with 32 procurement leaders and experts from 25 public and private entities to gather valuable insights. Based on the findings and recommendations, Dubai SME is set to launch new projects to integrate SMEs into local supply chains. These projects will include:

• Supply chain capacity building program to enhance the supply chain capabilities and competitiveness of SMEs through advisory services and training workshops to foster a deep understanding of market dynamics, customer behaviour, customers and industry trends.

• Digital Supplier Hub to establish a centralized platform to profile and rate members, enabling buyer reviews while promoting knowledge sharing and innovation among SMEs.

Other notable projects

Other major initiatives for Dubai SMEs in 2023 included the launch of India Accelerator by iAccel Gulf Business Incubator LLC in Dubai and the accreditation of The Co-Kitchen as the first kitchen incubator under the umbrella of Dubai Business Incubator Network (DBIN). In cooperation with the Khalifa Fund for Business Development, Dubai SME also showcased the city’s food and beverage business ecosystem at the 28th edition of Gulfood. Dubai SME was represented at the event, the largest of its kind in the world, by 10 companies.

Promoting Dubai Member SME Businesses

Gulf 2024
Dubai SME represented the food and beverage business ecosystem at Gulfood, the world’s largest food exhibition, presenting 10 Emirati companies. This presence underlines Dubai SME’s long-standing involvement in Gulfood, spanning over a decade during which it has supported more than 120 of its members during this major annual exhibition.

Global village
Dubai SME strengthened its collaboration with Global Village, the region’s leading family culture, shopping and entertainment destination, through a partnership to support Emiratis during the 28th edition of Global Village, which runs until April 2024 .

Since 2005, Dubai SME has continued to support entrepreneurs through its ongoing participation in Global Village, with over 730 beneficiary projects to date. Additionally, Dubai SME seeks to empower local product suppliers and enhance their presence in various local and international forums. Global Village is one of the most important platforms for innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs seeking to compete and sustain their businesses in the future.

Expand North Star 2023
Dubai SME was a major participant at Expand North Star 2023, the ultimate super connector event for global startups and investors. In its 2023 edition, it forged strategic links with government actors, investors and accelerators.

The Dubai SME Pavilion at the event proudly showcased the UAE’s best startups and incubators from its extensive network, giving them the exposure and tools they need to excel in Dubai’s competitive business sector.

News source: Dubai Press Office


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