By Staff writer
Start-ups received almost $46.3m worth of exemptions and incentives last year
Dubai SME helped 3,871 Emirati entrepreneurs last year to the tune of almost AED170 million ($46.3m) worth of exemptions and incentives.
The agency of Dubai Economy, which was launched in 2002, is designed to develop small and medium enterprises (SME), to launch and develop businesses across the emirate.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said: "The year, in general, has been exciting for Emirati entrepreneurs considering the regional and global economic challenges, especially since it witnessed the launch of various initiatives by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, and economic incentives to support SMEs.”
The Hamdan Innovation Incubator (Hi2) in Dubai SME 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.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Fund, the financial arm of Dubai SME, provided financing to 75 SMEs in 2019. To date, 172 projects have received financing products worth over AED80m ($21.8m) from the fund, 64 percent 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 AED973m ($265m) in 2019. Since its inception, Dubai SME has facilitated AED5.67 billion ($1.5bn) worth of contracts for its members under GPP, from government, semi-government and private entities.
Meanwhile, 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.