Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, SA Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Rached Al Maktoum, said that the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is a key pillar of the economy and that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to pay increasing attention to the sector through initiatives and programs launched to support entrepreneurship in the city.
SA Sheikh Hamdane said, “Vice President, Prime Minister and Governor of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rached Al Maktoum, has continued to emphasize the role of young people in shaping the future and the importance of empowering them with opportunities that enable them to reach their full potential. We are committed to realizing SA’s vision and introducing solutions and initiatives that will transform their creative energies into achievements that will support our development journey.”
His Highness’s remarks came during the launch of “Dubai Next”, an integrated digital platform that enables ambitious young people and innovators of various nationalities in Dubai to obtain the funding they need to launch their projects.
“The “Dubai Next” platform will help stimulate positive competition and encourage young people to come up with innovative ideas and gain community support through participatory funding. This will also enable a generation capable of innovation to succeed in a competitive business environment, reinforcing the fundamental role of SMEs in economic development so that the UAE can continue to be a model for youth empowerment,” said SA.
Participatory financing involves using small amounts of capital from individuals to fund a new business. With the use of digital technologies, aspiring entrepreneurs can now pitch their ideas and projects to a wider segment of the community locally and globally and get direct funding or support in marketing the idea.
SA commended the Mohamed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (Dubai SME), Dubai’s economic agency mandated to develop the SME sector, for its role in enhancing the UAE’s status as a pioneer in promoting entrepreneurship. Business is a vital component of the national economy and part of the UAE’s social and cultural heritage, said SA Sheikh Hamdane, noting that the UAE has always been keen to encourage young people to start their own businesses instead of working in traditional jobs.
Since its launch in 2002, Dubai SME has continued to provide essential support and guidance to SMEs and emerging businesses, while introducing young people to entrepreneurial opportunities, new trends and tools to create a successful business.
The launch of the initiative is also part of several efforts to support SME growth. A series of economic incentives and policies have been introduced in recent months that have benefited many startups.
Dubai’s Director General of Economy Sami Al Qamzi expressed his gratitude to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed for launching the “Dubai Next” platform.
“Dubai continues to promote entrepreneurship, embrace innovators and creative entrepreneurs and provide them with all forms of support, in accordance with the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed. In addition, Dubai has enabled entrepreneurs to implement their vision and turn their ideas into distinct projects that support sustainable development and efforts to build a knowledge-based economy. The city’s continued efforts will help strengthen the emirate’s position locally and regionally and enable it to reach the largest segment of young entrepreneurs in various sectors,” said Al Qamzi.
Dubai SME CEO Abdel Basset Al Janahi said, “The Dubai Next platform is fully aligned with Dubai SME’s mission to create platforms that foster entrepreneurship. The launch of the initiative reflects the Dubai government’s commitment to provide innovative solutions to the challenges faced by creators and innovators and highlight their capabilities in various sectors and provide them with community support, guidance and follow-up support in line with the UAE’s strategic objectives for sustainable growth and the promotion of knowledge and technology.
“Dubai Next offers an innovative participatory funding solution, allowing the community to participate in supporting emerging projects in a safe and secure manner, which in turn fosters the growth of businesses and society.
The platform offers the ideal choice for students and innovators to present their projects to potential investors and backers.
The platform enables emerging companies to grow, expand and launch new products. Dubai SME offers a package of incentives for those who secure funding on “Dubai Next”. The package includes incubating the idea in the Hamdane Innovation Incubator (HI2) or in one of the 14 certified incubators in Dubai.
The incubators provide various services and packages as well as an ideal working environment, effectively contributing to the launch of innovative projects and helping them to compete successfully in the local market and expand globally.
For more details on “Dubai Next” and to launch crowdfunding on the digital platform, visit www.dubainext.ae