His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, highlighted the interest of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in the human race in the UAE, and to provide all resources necessary to raise the level of social welfare for citizens.
This statement came during the Fourth Annual Ceremony of the Khalifa Fund for Entrepreneurship, currently being held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed forces. The event brings together 33 projects funded by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development this year.
In his address, HH Sheikh Hamed highlighted HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed’s ongoing commitment to the overall activities and strategies of Khalifa Fund in enhancing the economic performance of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, enabling it to become the investment and economic hub internationally and regionally.
HH Sheikh Hamed lauded the vital role of Khalifa Fund in developing projects within different segments that enable real participation of UAE nationals in the process of sustainable development in the country.
HH Sheikh Hamed pointed out the distinguished outcomes experienced by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development over the past five years. Their role has contributed significantly to the expansion of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) sector, creating a more stabilised economy, HH Sheikh Hamed said.
The winner of the Khalifa Fund for Leading Entrepreneurs within the category of “Micro Finance” funding program is Mona Al Jabri for the Janati Tailoring and Embroidery Shop project, while the winner of the “Start-Up loans” funding program is Nada Salem Al Qassimi for the two 12 Consultancy and Marketing Research project. The winner of the category of “Expansion loans” Funding program is Laith Nasr Al Taay for the Designer Advertising and Publishing (project). A winner was also announced in the category of the most innovative heritage profession also known as “Al Sogha Initiative”. The award for this category was won by Salma Ahmad Al Mansouri from Ghayathi.
Finally, winners for the best local talent in project management (male and female) were given to Ibrahim bin Shaheen for the DGT LLC project and Shaharban Ahmad Al Shahi for Speed Steam car wash project.
HH Sheikh Hamed also inaugurated the exhibition, showcasing 33 newly funded projects by Khalifa Fund, which began today, were participating. HH Sheikh Hamed keenly listened to the entrepreneurs presenting their ongoing projects, products and services. In addition to explaining their projects, the entrepreneurs also described the support mechanism provided by Khalifa Fund.
The Ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries, ministers, heads of local departments, as well as senior government officials and business leaders in the country.
Commenting on the exhibition, His Excellency Hussein Jasim Al Nowais, Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said: “In line with its vision to reach the highest possible number of people in the country, Khalifa Fund has opened three new branches this year in Ras Al Khaimah, Fujerah and Ajman to add to with existing branches in Al Ain and Western Region. This branch expansion is based on the directives of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed forces. The additional branches bring the total number of branches to five.
He added: “Through the benevolence of the country’s leadership, we have been able to provide our services to all UAE nationals regardless of their location.” In addition, HE Mr. Al Nowais pointed out that since he joined Khalifa Fund in July 2007, the total fund values distributed to 367 projects within different sectors is AED 600 million.
He also pointed out that 2011 saw the activation of the manufacturing program, which aims to provide funding channels to compatible industrial projects along with investment trends for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Within a short span, the total value of funding through the program has already reached approximately AED 55 million.
HE Mr. Al Nowais added that UAE nationals occupied approximately 31 per cent of the projects that were approved for funding, stressing that Khalifa Fund is keen to support and encourage Emirati women to enter the world of entrepreneurship.
He noted that the Fund was able to consolidate the culture of vocational training among UAE nationals through specialized training programs. The Fund currently has 186 operational programs, benefiting over 2600 nationals in various regions within the UAE. “In addition, the Fund contributed significantly in changing common perceptions among the youth on the role of the State as being supportive rather than a donor. We now have a generation capable of real participation in the process of sustainable development in the country,” Mr. Al Nowais said.
Assuring that Khalifa Fund is keen to develop projects, he said that the Fund is progressively increase its efforts to achieve the vision and directives of the leadership that empowers the nationals to improves their standards of living.
Mr. Al Nowais also took the opportunity to reiterate that Khalifa Fund was established to develop funds in line with Abu Dhabi’s strategic plans, which are based on the diversification of income sources and utilization of the UAE’s national human resources. He highlighted that the Fund aims to raise the economic performance of the emirate, enabling it to become the investment and economic hub for the Arab world.