UAE telecom provider to offer 50 per cent discount to Emirati entrepreneurs

Discounted digital services include mobile phone packages and website management services

Telecom provider e& will offer discounts of up to 50 per cent on IT and communications services for Emirati entrepreneurs. Photo: Sarah Dea / The National
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Telecom provider e& ― formerly known as Etisalat ― has teamed up with the UAE Ministry of Economy to offer discounts of up to 50 per cent on IT and communications services for Emirati entrepreneurs under a new start-up programme.

The new programme was launched on the country's National Day.

Emirati start-ups registered in the National Programme for Small Enterprises can benefit from the discounted services, news agency Wam reported.

Discounted digital services include mobile phone packages, website management, Microsoft applications, and other services. The Emirati Start-up Programme will promote entrepreneurship in the country by offering a comprehensive package of incentives to new entrepreneurs.

Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, undersecretary at the Ministry of Economy, said the ministry is working continuously with its partners in the government and private sectors to support the growth and development of small and medium-sized Emirati companies.

Besides the subsidised telecom services, those who sign up for the new initiative can benefit from business consulting services and get special offers on all business services.

In October, the ministry launched the Entrepreneurial Nation 2.0 programme to drive the country's goal of becoming a world leader for entrepreneurship.

The initiative seeks to develop more than 8,000 small and medium enterprises and start-ups by 2030.

The first Entrepreneurial Nation initiative was set up in November 2021, with 10 programmes backed by digital tools and financing solutions, and about Dh20 million ($5.5 million) provided by private-sector partners. The programme has a goal of creating 20 unicorns, or start-ups with a valuation of $1 billion and above, by 2031.

About 95 per cent of all companies operating in the UAE are SMEs, employing almost 90 per cent of the private sector labour force and contributing more than 60 per cent to gross domestic product, according to the latest government data.

Local state-backed entities and strategies that support the sector include the National SME Programme, the UAE SME Council, Abu Dhabi's Khalifa Fund, Dubai SME and Operation 300bn, the 10-year strategy to increase the industrial sector's contribution to the country's gross domestic product to Dh300 billion by 2031.

The start-up ecosystem has been boosted in recent years as entrepreneurs tap into innovation to address consumer needs. The sector's growth has risen in tandem with the increase in digitisation in key sectors such as retail, services, e-commerce and government.

Updated: December 02, 2022, 11:36 AM