MBRF and Beehive join hands to provide digital financing solutions for startups
Partnership will enable SME to use FinTech to secure funds for growth and expansion
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund (MBRF), which is the financial arm of Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, and Beehive, the first and only regulated peer to peer finance platform, providing innovative online financing solutions for SMEs, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate SME financing and enhance SME performance. The MoU will enable SME owners in Dubai to obtain loans for development and expansion at competitive rates through the Beehive Group Finance Platform.
Abdul Basset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, and Craig Moore, Founder and CEO of Beehive, signed the MoU in the presence of senior executives from both sides. Commenting on the partnership, Al Janahi said it underscores Dubai SME’s commitment to transforming Dubai into a Smart City in line with the directives of Their Highnesses Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
“Dubai SME continually evaluates the needs of SME owners and investors in the region to ensure that the UAE remains the most attractive destination for investment and enterprise growth. Most recently, we released the ‘State of Digital Investment in MENA 2013-2016’ report to give an overview of the opportunities in digital entrepreneurship and related innovations. The agreement with Beehive addresses the need for modern SME financing options that can compete with conventional channels and excel in terms of efficiency and cost,” said Al Janahi.
The agreement, in addition to meeting the requirements of the investor community, also provides them with the opportunity to achieve better returns by financing a qualified group of SMEs, added Al Janahi. “It’s an opportunity for UAE nationals who own SMEs to get accustomed to modern financial technologies (FinTech) and leverage the concepts of crowd funding and peer to peer financing without depending on banks or other financial institutions.”
“We’re delighted to join forces with Dubai SME. Peer to peer finance is growing rapidly and is estimated to deliver USD $300 billion (1.1 trillion dirhams) globally by 2020. Our partnership will endeavor to provide funding to the pioneering and promising SMEs of the future, which will ultimately help establish Dubai as a world class innovation hub, in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for the Emirate,” Craig Moore commented.
Saeed Matar Al Marri, Deputy CEO of Dubai SME, said MBRF seeks to promote innovative projects of young people by offering a package of financing solutions tailored to their operational requirements. The ultimate objective is to translate ideas into competitive and sustainable projects and promote entrepreneurial spirit among UAE nationals.
“The agreement with Beehive provides for a credit guarantee of up to AED 500,000 on SME financing for a period up to 36 months with the Fund acting as the guarantor. SMEs will be able to utilise the funds thus secured to grow and compete with major companies in the domestic market, eventually achieving sustainability and expanding into global markets,” Al Marri said.
MBRF will monitor the commitment of project owners who receive its support to the standards and controls set by the Fund, added Al Marri. The MBRF team conducts field visits and the performance of projects to which a credit guarantee is provided will also be reviewed regularly to ensure adherence to the original project plan.