Ministry of Economy hosts SME Forum at AIM 2020
The Small and Medium Enterprises Forum and Exhibition, held alongside tenth edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM 2020) scheduled from 24 to 26 March, will put a spotlight into the future of SMEs in light of the global changing landscape in the digital era, and the need to look for new finance options and sources to support the SME sector.
Organised by the National Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy, the executive arm of the UAE SME Council, the SME Forum and Exhibition is one of the six main pillars of AIM 2020, held under the theme “Investing for the Future: Shaping the Global Investment Strategies”.
The SME forum will help entrepreneurs explore new finance options and more flexible sources of finance, especially with SMEs moving away from traditional sources of finance, amidst the global changing landscape.
The forum seeks to narrow the credit gap for SMEs by providing a global platform for them to promote their products and services to real investors, especially as SMEs are the backbone of the global economy, where they make up 90 per cent of the business and contribute up to 50 per cent of total workforce worldwide, according to International Finance Corporation (IFC) reports. This indicates that 65 million SMEs in developing countries continue to suffer annually from inadequate funding, estimated at $5.2 trillion each year.
Dr. Adeeb Al Afeefi, Director of the National Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises said: “Through its SME pitching competition, AIM offers an extraordinary platform for entrepreneurs and SME owners to connect directly with leading local and international companies seeking investment opportunities in the UAE market. Top SMEs will be shortlisted to compete in the competition, and winners will get a premium opportunity to present their project ideas, business value and competitiveness to investors, explaining their products, target markets and the type of investment needed.
The AIM 2020 agenda also includes Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Start-ups, Future Cities, Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI), and the Chinese “One Belt, One Road” initiative, as well as two fundraising events to support the least developed countries.