National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy to organize SME Expo in Abu Dhabi next Monday

Under the patronage of Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori

Abu Dhabi, 23 April 2019

Under the patronage of H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, and Chairman of Small and Medium Enterprises Council, the National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy will host the Small and Medium Enterprises Exhibition (SME Expo) from April 29-30 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC).

The two-day free-to-attend SME Expo is being organized in collaboration with funding programs to support and encourage Emirati entrepreneurs, including the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Foundation ‘Ruwad’, and Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla Programme for Supporting Youth Enterprises. The SME Expo allows UAE entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and ideas of leading industry experts and solution providers to develop their businesses and projects. The event is supported by National Bank of Fujairah, Emirates Development Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Global Markets.

Announcing the event at a press conference Dr Adeeb Alafeefi, Director, of the National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy said: “The National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy, is committed to continuing its efforts to support and develop this pivotal sector. The Program aims to empower the small and medium-sized national entrepreneurs and develop blueprints to provide expertise, technical support as well as training to boost SMEs.”

“Earlier this year, Emirates Development Bank launched AED 100 million credit guarantee program for SMEs in coordination with partner banks and the UAE Banks Federation. Through this scheme, they aim to boost SMEs’ business activities and pave the way for economic diversity in line with the UAE’s move towards a post-oil economy. The SME Expo represents a distinct initiative in this path, where the Ministry is keen towards providing a platform for entrepreneurs and SMEs in the UAE to communicate and share ideas, learn best practices and build partnerships that contribute to the transition of the sector’s competitiveness and growth to higher levels.”

Vince Cook, CEO, National Bank of Fujairah and headline sponsor of SME Expo said: “We are proud to be the headline sponsor of this prestigious event and to support entrepreneurs in developing innovative solutions that will achieve business growth and customer satisfaction. At NBF, we have long recognized the important role of SMEs in driving economic growth through innovation. As such, we have established a solid reputation as the financial partner for businesses in the UAE committed to supporting their growth and expansion by offering a bespoke portfolio of solutions catering to their unique challenges – whether it concerns financing, VAT reporting, operational efficiency or market intelligence. A very recent example of this broad support is our collaboration with the Emirates Development Bank on the “Credit Guarantee Scheme” to provide much-needed funding to the segment.”

Faisal Al Bastaki, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Development Bank and platinum sponsor said: “Emirates Development Bank is a federal entity with a mandate to equip Emirati SME owners with access to finance, advance their growth, and promote economic development in the UAE. The SME industry continues to be a growth engine of the national economy and our financial products empower UAE nationals to build dynamic businesses. As a proud sponsor of the SME Expo, we look forward to engaging with our stakeholders and increase the SME contribution to the non-oil GDP in line with the UAE Vision 2021.”

Mahdi Kilani, Head of Business Banking, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and gold sponsor said: “ADIB strategy is focused on supporting SME’s by providing a broad range of tools beyond simple financing in order to enable them to scale up their businesses. Our clients now have access to the latest digital payments, collections and trade solutions designed to ease the cost of running the business as well as maximize efficiency.  ADIB also enables SMEs to reach their full potential not just by providing capital and technology, but also by building strong advisory relationships to address companies’ evolving business needs and aspirations to support this vital segment of the nation’s economy.”

Martin Tidestrom, Director of Business Development from Abu Dhabi Global Markets and silver sponsors said: “As an international financial centre, ADGM plays a pivotal role for SME growth in the UAE by providing an internationally trusted legal environment, access to a supportive ecosystem of financiers and advisors, and a range of support services to help SMEs across all sectors enter the market, capitalize and grow. Our initiatives include launching a tailored, highly flexible, sector agnostic licence for start-ups. We have also partnered with leading local and international advisors to introduce the Entrepreneurship Support Programme to help entrepreneurs build the required business skills and expand their business networks. Our participation in SME Expo further reinforces our commitment to empower the entrepreneurship ecosystem by collaborating with government entities to provide resources and expertise to boost entrepreneurs’ potential for success in the region.”

The two-day SME Expo will bring leading professionals who will conduct 20-minute masterclasses, presenting case studies and seminars that will focus on trending topics and issues affecting SMEs in the UAE. There will be a one-stop interactive exhibition designed exclusively to enhance the SME sector’s productivity, competitiveness and profitability and networking lounge where attendees can visit in breaks between sessions and connect with industry professionals.

SME Expo will provide industry experts access to over 150 exhibitors from a range of sectors including: Startup Incubator; Government Services; Technology; Education/Training and Consultant; Office Supply & Furniture; Real Estate Services & Retail; Trade and Business Services; Finance/Insurance & Banks; Legal Services, Accountants & Finance Consultancies; Free Zones & Economic Zones; Marketing & Communication Services; Tourism; Food and Beverages; Health and Wellness; and Logistics.