Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of all economies in the Middle East. According to a report by Dubai SME, these businesses are described as the “anchors of any economy” and represent 95 percent of companies in the emirate of Dubai, account for 42 percent of the workforce and contribute around 40 percent to the total value of the economy.
In a show of support for the vital sector, a number of high profile initiatives were announced on Monday in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.
Dubai Startup Hub, an initiative of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has launched a new Market Access programme which aims to help generate more deals between start-ups, SMEs, leading companies and government entities in Dubai.
Launched at the Gitex Technology Week 2017 exhibition, SMEs have until October 31 to “submit innovative ideas and solutions that solve key challenges faced by prominent companies and organisations in the emirate”. Emirates NBD, Dubai Chamber, Flydubai and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are the four leading entities participating in first edition of the programme.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) on Monday also announced it has creating a 4 billion riyal ($1.07 billion) “fund of funds” to support the growth of SMEs.