Dubai SME and Potential launch SME Evolution Programme in Arabic
Rushika Bhatia

Dubai SME and Potential launch SME Evolution Programme in Arabic

Dubai SME, the SME development agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai and Potential, a UAE-based business development company, have announced the launch of the Arabic version of its SME Evolution Programme in a bid to enhance the initiative’s reach and invite heightened participation from SMEs.

The SME Evolution Programme, launched in partnership with Dubai SME, the SME development agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, is the first of its kind free web-training that offers practical support to enterprises and enables them to compete effectively on the international marketplace.

His Excellency Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, commented: “Launching the programme is in line with our strategy to enable SME’s to expand their business regionally and internationally. At Dubai SME we strive to adopt the latest technologies and innovations that improve the performance of SME. The initiative also creates a strong support system for SMEs and entrepreneurs seeking to spread their wings and leverage business networks in line with the directives of H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai”.

Al Janahi added: “SMEs, which account for over 90% of the private enterprises in Dubai, are leading economic growth and job creation in the UAE today. It is therefore a top priority that this sector has access to leading edge knowledge, technology, funding and markets.”

Over 100 entrepreneurs and SME sector experts attended the launch during a workshop at the Department of Economic Development’s (DED) Dubai SME offices. The launch was also attended by Potential’s local partners including Union National Bank (UNB), as well as regional partners MEVP, AllWorld, Aramex, Google, Intel, Zawya.

The workshop agenda included a presentation on the programme with Potential’s regional partners offering industry perceptions. Following a comprehensive Q&A session, an online live test of the programme was conducted for the benefit of the SMEs. Registration for the Arabic version of the SME Evolution Programme commenced immediately after the conclusion of the workshop.

The SME Evolution Programme offers an opportunity for SMEs to register in a free interactive business development initiative. It allows participants to gain best practices for improving business efficiency, expanding businesses and competing internationally. It also facilitates the creation of new job opportunities and provides valuable exposure to emerging enterpreneurs.

Over an initial period of six months, the SME Evolution Programme delivers a valuable blend of more than 50 free Webinars or online interactive training sessions, in addition to live workshops. The learning is provided in collaboration with professors from top international universities.

Shadi Banna, Managing Partner of Potential, said: “Since launching the SME Evolution Programme in February 2011, more than 300 business owners and directors have registered and continued to gain from this pragmatic initiative. The Arabic version of the programme seeks to fulfil the regional demand for such niche solutions that can effectively reach out to engage more businesses in the region.

Dubai SME and Potential launch SME Evolution Programme in Arabic
(L-R) His Excellency Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO, Dubai SME and Shadi Banna, Managing Partner, Potentia

“We aim to have the programme easily accessible to the regional market, showcase our work and provide all support needed for SMEs to grow and excel in every possible environment. We urge companies to partner with the programme and educate businesses on ways to expand and achieve optimum growth.”

Essam Zahran, Vice-President and Department Manager, SME Business Banking, Union National Bank (UNB), said: “As a UAE-based banking institution providing personal and corporate banking services, we joined the programme to participate in the process of helping SMEs learn more about financing opportunities. We are glad to be part of this significant initiative and look forward to sharing key information and relevant experience with the participants.”

The SME Evolution Programme offers a unique opportunity for small businesses to grow. Through the concept, Potential also aims to help SMEs network with their peers throughout the Middle East and gain support from each other as well as from mentors that are assigned to answer questions and enquiries.