MoE announces plan to promote SMEs, entrepreneurship in 2020 - GulfToday

MoE announces plan to promote SMEs, entrepreneurship in 2020


Dr Adib speaks to the media in Dubai on Tuesday.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

The National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy (MoE), the executive arm of the UAE SME Council, announced its plan to support and stimulate the country’s SME sector and promote entrepreneurship during the year 2020.

The details of the strategic plan were announced on Tuesday during a press conference held by the Ministry in the Customer Happiness Center at its headquarters in Dubai. It encompasses specialised training programmes and courses for entrepreneurs, establishment of the link with European Business Network, hosting of the SME Forum, participation in leading exhibitions, and recognitions for SMEs and innovation at regional and global levels, among many other programs and services for the sector.

Dr. Adib Al Afifi, Director of the National Program of Small and Medium Enterprises, said during the press conference that entrepreneurship and SME sector continues to be an important area of focus for the wise leadership, owing to its pivotal role in the development of the national economy and enhancing its diversity, sustainability and competitiveness. In addition, the sector also contributes to promoting innovation and knowledge in the economic activities and in the country’s business sector.

Al Afifi said that the Ministry of Economy’s National Program for SMEs has succeeded in creating an attractive environment for entrepreneurs over the past years by providing incentives and facilities and by launching initiatives that enable them to successfully enter the market. The program has also successfully enhanced their ability to increase their market shares and obtain investment opportunities.

“The plan for 2020 includes a set of programs, initiatives and activities that are aimed at empowering Emirati entrepreneurs and encouraging SMEs and creating awareness on best practices and the latest trends in entrepreneurship development. It will also enhance administrative and commercial capabilities and innovative practices of private sector companies by providing them with many effective tools needed to achieve commercial success and business continuity. Furthermore, it will help them expand their operations in various vital fields, in addition to connecting them with new regional and global markets,” he added.

Al Afifi continued: “The number of Emirati SMEs that were activated through the National Program for SMEs portal included 2,000 entrepreneurs in 2019 compared to 1,500 in 2018. This marks an increase of 33 per cent, and the number is expected to touch 5,000 by the end of 2020.”

He further emphasized that the new plan will focus prominently on specialized training programs designed to help entrepreneurs develop their projects and enhance leadership capabilities, innovation and technical competencies, which will lead to improved performances of their businesses. This will in turn enhance their income, involvement and competitiveness in the market. The plan envisions 50 training courses to be organized for more than 3,000 Emirati entrepreneurs across the seven Emirates, as well as an expanded program to train trainers in the field of SMEs.

Furthermore, Al Afifi explained that the program will work towards connecting entrepreneurs registered in the National Program for SMEs with members of the European Business Network, which has 11,000 companies. This will facilitate the exchange of information and experiences; help organize joint events; and will promote the discussion of opportunities to establish new business partnerships.

Al Afifi added that the National Program members will participate in the SMEs Forum 2020 that will be held on the sidelines of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), The forum will serve as an ideal platform to connect them with global companies that are investing and looking for commercial and investment opportunities in the UAE’s markets; to exchange knowledge; and to learn about innovative practices operating and developing start-ups and SMEs.

National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) PJSC hosted the first edition of its Design Thinking Workshop in Dubai that brought together small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across business verticals to discuss wide ranging issues such as banking requirements, transactions, fees, operations, VAT compliance and regulatory law. The interactive session was aimed at collecting feedback from SMEs to help NBF build a platform that will be an exclusive digital space co-created with SMEs to understand and address their needs better.

Participants included SMEs across a wide range of industries and four additional workshops are being planned within the next few months to give SMEs an opportunity to voice their banking needs and offer effective solutions that help the sector flourish.

Devid Jegerson, Head of Customer Experience and Platform Development, said: “The Design Thinking Workshop is a fundamental step to fulfilling our goal of building a unique SME community and banking platform in the UAE. The discussion and insights from these sessions is a strategic process to understand SME needs and create bespoke banking solutions. The workshop reiterates our commitment to develop a dedicated online community for SMEs to interact with peers, share knowledge and gain access to beneficial resources on government policies.”

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