By Tamara Pupic
A new programme to boost entrepreneurship among Emiratis has kicked off at The Impact Hub Dubai, a Dubai-based incubator and innovation hub.
A new two-month programme for Emirati entrepreneurs has launched in Dubai to equip them with the knowledge and contacts required to launch a business idea and begin trading anywhere in the world.
The LaunchPad, a free programme designed especially for UAE nationals, was founded by The Impact Hub Dubai, Dubai SME, the Hamdan Innovation Incubator (HI2), and the Commercial Bank of Dubai to foster an entrepreneurial culture and develop a competitive SME sector in the UAE.
More than 50 Emiratis who own and operate start-ups launched less than two years ago and who committed to participate in each of the programme’s sessions and Demo Day were selected for the first programme, which has kicked off in October and will end in December 2014.
The second programme is scheduled for the New Year and will again offer selected Emiratis free access to the Impact Hub Dubai to incubate business ideas through mentoring and workshops, as well as the opportunity to meet more than 9,000 “hubsters”, the members of Impact Hub’s branches around the world.
Speaking at the occasion, Aman Merchant, CEO at Impact Hub Dubai, said: “The UAE offers great commercial opportunities and is a melting pot of entrepreneurism. Disruptive ideas can arise anywhere, and given the right environment, can grow rapidly into successful businesses.
“Our ambition is to not only help to realise the dreams of starting a business here in the UAE, but also to offer the chance to become international businesses in their own right, through our global network of hubs in more than 75 locations around the world.
“We are delighted thus to announce this pioneering LaunchPad for Emirati entrepreneurs, the first of several initiatives that we are going to launch over the next few months that allows us to showcase our triad capability of part-campus, part-incubator and part-innovation lab under a single roof.”
From their side, Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the SME sector, offered to facilitate exempted licenses for the Emirati LaunchPad participants as well as funds under its rules and conditions.
“At Dubai SME, we have incubated over 350 SMEs and with our ‘Hamdan Innovation Incubator’ initiative, the entrepreneurial support system in Dubai has expanded further. The Emirati LaunchPad™ allows us to share our SME development resources with a wider community,” added Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.
Interested Emirati entrepreneurs are invited to add their name to the waiting list for the next Launchpad here: dubai.new.impacthub.net/launchpad.