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Sun 12 Apr 2015 03:31 PM

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Dubai gov't launches $163m fund to help innovative Emiratis

Mohammed bin Rashid Fund for SME seeks to develop local entrepreneurs with funding of up to $1.36m

Dubai gov't launches $163m fund to help innovative Emiratis

Dubai SME on Sunday launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Fund for SME, a government initiative established by a law issued by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Aimed at maximising financing solutions for innovative businesses and developing Emirati entrepreneurs, the fund’s assets exceed AED600 million ($163.3 million), according to a statement cited by news agency WAM.

It offers Emirati nationals aged between 21 and 65 two types of loans, WAM reported.

The Seed Capital Loan funds directly to startups requiring more than AED50,000 but not exceeding AED500,000 while The Credit Scheme Loan is offered through banking partners and guaranteed by The Fund, to both startups and existing businesses requiring a funding of more than AED500,000 but not exceeding AED5 million.

Commenting on the launch, Sami Al Qamzi, director-general, Department of Economic Development, Dubai, said: "The Fund follows clear procedures within the Dubai SME services, allowing entrepreneurs to benefit from integrated funding solutions.

"The Dubai SME contributes to the development of the proposed business idea, obtains necessary approvals from other government departments, offers training workshops to help integrate new business owners in the local market and support them to prepare their finance application form. Once this is presented to The Fund, a feasibility study is made and financial advice and financing options are given," he added.

He said the Fund’s operating model ensures its sustainability through re-investing the loan settlement to finance new projects. The Fund allows for a maximum of two-year grace period through which no accumulating interests would be relayed to the seed loan.

The period granted to settle the loan should not exceed seven years, including the two-year grace period.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME and vice chairman of the Fund’s Supervising Committee, added: "Through The Fund, we aim specifically to nurture the sense of innovation and creativity of Emirati entrepreneurs. In addition to its financing role, The Fund will act as an incubator to innovative projects through Hamdan Innovation Incubator."

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