A new, long-term strategy has been initiated in the United Arab Emirates that is set to boost the success rate of small and medium enterprises by 50%. The plan is aimed to reduce the country’s dependence on oil revenue and the federal entity responsible for the initiative has been endorsed by the UAE Cabinet. Currently, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a success rate that is just around 25% to 30% and the Managing Director of National Bank of Abu Dhabi Securities anticipates the program will boost that rate up to 50%.
The initiative is called The National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises which is the first time a federal entity has establish this type of body in support for the SME sector. However, it’s not the only organization that has placed valuable resources into the growing sector as Hussain al Nowais, chairman of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, has established similar initiatives with investments for the SME sector.
The federal program is housed under the order of the Ministry of Economy and sets the focus to develop a strategic blueprint which will provide technical support, expertise and training to bolster SMEs throughout the region. Additionally, the program will work with local and federal governments as well as the private sector to fuel products inside the UAE and beyond. This type of diversifying strategy will help decrease the dependence of oil revenues as the global market for oil demands change. On top of that, it works as a way for Emiratis to use the opportunity to start their own businesses, utilizing entrepreneurship skills instead of waiting for a government job opening.
As it currently stands, the UAE has approximately 300,000 SMEs that represent roughly 92% of all businesses and contribute about 86% of all jobs in the UAE market. With that being said, SMEs account for 60% of the country’s GDP and that number is expected to rise by 2021 to 70%, to meet the requirement set in place by The National Agenda. Due to the expertise Hussain al Nowais has developed and put in action during his own ventures that stimulate SMEs in the UAE, he has welcomed the plan of assisting with the start of The National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises as is will effectively and efficiently contribute to the country’s economy.
The initiative can help the UAE strengthen the SEM sector which will build up competitiveness in the national and global markets. As the holding company Khalifa Fund shares its’ expertise with the local and federal bodies, the SME initiative is predicted to meet the needs of the UAE.