UAE Ministry of Economy launches new SME initiatives for Emirati entrepreneurs
H.E Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, announced the launch of various initiatives which comes as part of the three main programs presented by the National Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This further reflects changes in the services provided to Emirati entrepreneurs to support them in developing their projects, enabling them to increase their contribution to the country’s economic diversification efforts and growth in line with the goals of the ‘Projects of the 50.’ These programs include the Government Procurement Program, the Business Support Program, and the Financing Solutions Program.
The new set of services are designed to provide national businesses with more growth possibilities and improved market access.
H.E. Al Falasi noted that the National Programme for SMEs has so far formed more than 25 partnerships with leading institutions in the public and private sectors, which have been contributing to the development of initiatives and services under the three programs.
H.E. Al Falasi said: "The announcement is in line with our wise leadership’s vision, which places the citizen first, second and third in our developmental priorities. It places absolute faith on entrepreneurs, and recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship as a major driver for building the future economy and achieving more flexibility, sustainability and innovation in the national economy in accordance with the principles and goals of the Projects of the 50. Our efforts to develop SMEs and support entrepreneurial projects led by Emirati youth will continue, by providing them with all the facilities and necessary tools to achieve commercial success, business continuity and growth. He pointed out that SMEs today represent 94 per cent of the total companies and institutions operating in the country and contribute more than 50 per cent to the country's GDP.”
The program reviewed the most prominent indicators that reflect the advanced position that the UAE has achieved in developing its entrepreneurial environment to world-leading levels, as:
The country ranked first globally in the Global Entrepreneurship Index 2022 and ranked first in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report as the best destination in the world for establishing and starting businesses and having the most supportive environment for entrepreneurship.
The number of commercial licenses registered for Emirati entrepreneurs increased from nearly 23,000 in 2019 to about 29,000 in 2021, with a growth rate of 26 per cent.
It hosts a number of fast-growing pioneering companies and Unicorns that originated from the UAE before going global, such as Careem, Souq.com, Kitobi, Swvl and others.
Under the new Government Procurement Program, the Ministry of Economy renewed its partnership with the Ministry of Finance to enable Emirati entrepreneurs to register on the Federal Procurement Platform in a more efficient and seamless manner. The National Programme, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, will allocate special workshops on the platform to enable member entrepreneurs to access various information about procurement and contracts available in the Federal Government. The two parties will also form specific committees to look into any challenges facing Emirati entrepreneurs regarding the federal platform. The National programme at the initial stage will coordinate with the government procurement of three federal entities namely the Ministry of Education, the Emirates Foundation for Health Services, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. He emphasized that the goal of this stage is to put in place the appropriate processes to ensure the involvement of the federal procurement in serving the needs of citizen business owners, and thereby expand the scope of the initiative to ensure success, achieve the desired outcomes, and provide advanced services that include all ministries and target entities.
H.E. Al Falasi said that the working group in the ministry will constantly work to develop partnerships and services to serve Emirati entrepreneurs