Khalifa Fund rolls out new digital platform to support SMEs and start-ups

Abu Dhabi SME Hub will provide connections to government bodies, investors, mentors and peers

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 24, 2019.  
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-- Beautiful Al Reem Island on a cool and sunny afternoon shot from the Eastern Mangroves area.
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The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, an Abu Dhabi government agency, rolled out a new digital platform to help small and medium enterprises and start-ups to grow their business.

The Abu Dhabi SME Hub will provide support for small businesses in various stages of development, the fund said in a statement on Wednesday.

It will also help start-ups and SMEs connect with the wider business ecosystem, including government entities, regulators, investors, mentors and peers.

The new platform will “provide engaging, multi-format content produced in English and Arabic and intended to educate and entertain entrepreneurs in a variety of topics including innovation, fundraising, finance and cash management, product development, marketing, and organisational scaling”, Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and the Khalifa Fund said.

Currently, there are more than 400,000 SMEs operating in the country. They represent over 60 per cent of the UAE’s non-oil economy and provide employment opportunities for 86 per cent of the workforce in the private sector, according to the Khalifa Fund.

The UAE government has introduced a number of new initiatives to support SMEs and start-ups in the last few months.

In April, Dubai SME, a government agency tasked with developing the small and medium enterprise sector in the emirate, rolled out a new business incubator in Dubai Healthcare City.

The Khalifa Fund also teamed up with Etisalat and Microsoft to help the emirate's small and medium-sized enterprises in their digital transformation.

As part of an online education programme called e-Empower, Etisalat and Microsoft will organise webinars and workshops, offer preferential rates and digital support to SMEs in Abu Dhabi.

In September, the Khalifa Fund also teamed up with Amazon to support small businesses in the UAE capital.