Khalifa Fund solidly continues to support UAE SMEs’ expansion - GulfToday

Khalifa Fund solidly continues to support UAE SMEs’ expansion


The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development announced the completion of the 2019-2020 edition of the Franchise Initiative. WAM/ File

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development officially announced the completion of the 2019-2020 edition of the “Franchise Initiative”, which saw three UAE-owned and operated businesses become the latest organisations to benefit from the long-serving initiative, and become ready to expand.

This year, the initiative supported Amaryliss Flowers, a one-stop-shop for flower arrangements which imports premium quality flowers from international locations such as Colombia and Holland, with express delivery services; Rafeeg, an online app marketplace that connects home improvements needs and maintenance professionals with customers through a user-friendly interface; and Rolling Wheels, the first roller skating rink in the UAE, which also provides a portable roller skating floor for outdoor events. They will all receive another year of guidance to help them complete their franchise process.

As part of the initiative, the Khalifa Fund provided the organisations with strategic planning and franchising structure, legal documentations, area development, an operations manual, marketing tools, who will continue to receive one year of ongoing consultancy.

The Khalifa Fund originally partnered with FranCorp in 2013 and later launched the Franchise Initiative to support the expansion process of the enterprises that showed the potential to grow locally, regionally and internationally. To date, the Khalifa Fund has aided in the franchising requirements of 12 businesses.

Mouza Obaid Al Nasri, Acting CEO of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development stated, “Khalifa Fund has continuously dedicated itself to supporting, guiding and nurturing UAE SMEs, from ideation phase to franchising. To work towards the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, and the UAE National Agenda striving to achieve Vision 2021, it is now more important than ever to showcase how the Khalifa Fund fully supports SMEs by empowering and enabling them to become fully-fledged franchises.”

Layla Al Mulla, Founder of Amaryliss Flowers said, “Khalifa Fund has provided us with the support we required to make it to the next level of our business operations. In the UAE, our industry is very competitive, so gaining guidance and mentorship from the Khalifa Fund has helped us propel towards franchising.”  Khamis AlSheryani, Founder of Rafeeg stated, “Thanks to the support of the Franchise Initiative and the ongoing financial support and guidance from the Khalifa Fund I was able to achieve my vision of launching the Rafeeg application, which is becoming a pioneer in the field of various services, gaining the trust of customers in a short time. Due to the support we received from the Khalifa Fund, we are now looking to expand into Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as more places across the Mena region within the next five years.”

Israa AlSaiqal, Co-Founder of Rolling Wheels shared, “With support from the Khalifa Fund, I was able to launch Rolling Wheels, a new concept for children’s entertainment in the UAE. The first branch was opened in 2017, with there now being two branches in Abu Dhabi. We have signed our first franchise earlier this year, and we expect to open the third Rolling Wheels in Yas mall in 2021.”

NBF Connect: National Bank of Fujairah (NBF), on Monday announced the launch of ‘NBF Connect’, a dedicated and exclusive banking platform for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, and the first of its kind in the UAE.

The community platform will serve as a one-stop shop for SME members, which will include access to a suite of services and solutions as well as knowledge-sharing capabilities. Co-created with SMEs, this is the first time a bank joins hands with the SME community to create a platform of this kind ‘for SMEs, by SMEs’.

The platform will provide members with exclusive features. A suite of business services provided by fellow SMEs such as HR services, legal support, e-commerce and marketplace management for the SME community to meet their business needs. NBF Connect will be an important part of the business ecosystem as notable partners like Etisalat and Visa join hands with NBF to offer a range of non-banking services to empower SMEs with the right tools and support them to move ahead in their journey.

Some of the other services include a discussion platform where SMEs will be engaging in industry-focused conversations such as the opportunities and challenges that currently exist, a news and events hub where members will be receiving the latest SME news and business trends coupled by a calendar of the latest SME events.

Commenting on the launch, Rehan Ali, Head of Business Banking, said, “We are very excited to be launching NBF Connect, the very first SME platform in the UAE.”


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