The Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, an initiative by the UAE’s Ministry of Finance, will support 24 new businesses as they expand their operations and enter new markets.
The companies were selected as part of the fund’s accelerator programme that seeks to foster innovation in the country, state news agency Wam reported on Tuesday.
"We are pleased to welcome the new cohort into our accelerator programme and look forward to supporting them in their entrepreneurial journey by equipping them with the tools they require to take their innovations to the next level,” said Fatima Al Naqbi, Ministry of Finance representative for the fund.
The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, has focused on supporting start-ups and aims to increase their contribution to the country’s economy.
Abu Dhabi started Hub71 in 2019 to assist start-ups in the country’s capital while Dubai will host a key conference next year in a bid to attract more venture capitalists to fund start-ups in the emirate and boost its digital economy.
The new cohort, the largest so far, was selected from more than 150 applications. Thirteen of the businesses selected are based in the UAE while 11 are from different countries but have a presence in the UAE, according to the report.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund was set up by the Ministry of Finance in 2015. Since then, it has supported innovators through the Guarantee Scheme – its first programme – which is operated by the Emirates Development Bank.
Its second programme, the MBRIF Accelerator, which began in 2018, aims to boost the growth potential of innovative businesses shaping the future of the UAE’s economy.
Of the new members, 50 per cent are at the growth stage, 25 per cent at the market entry stage and 25 per cent at the prototype stage, the report said.
They represent different sectors including education, health, renewable and clean energy, technology, transport and water.