Dubai an incubator for high growth SMEs

  • Dubai SME begins second phase of screening SME100 participants in third cycle
  • HE Sami Al Qamzi: Dubai SME100 promotes SME performance and business in Dubai
  • Abdul Baset Al Janahi: 4,532 applicants in third cycle, revenues estimated at AED 69.5 billion

Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Dubai, has announced that the third cycle of its Dubai SME100 ranking has now moved to the second stage, which involves field visits to 200 companies shortlisted from a total of 4,532 applicants.

Launched in 2011 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, the Dubai SME100 identifies and ranks companies based on a set of financial and non-financial performance indicators and then helps the ranked companies to acquire new capabilities and develop the business.

HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed stated that Dubai has earned the distinction of being an incubator for high growth group of small and medium-sized companies, pursuing innovations in diverse fields. The Dubai SME100 ranking is proof of the support extended by the Government of Dubai and private sector partners for SME growth and a reaffirmation that Dubai will continue to roll out new business models and innovative global enterprises.

His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, said: “Small and medium enterprises represent 95% of the businesses operating in Dubai today and account for about 42% of the total workforce and 40% of gross domestic product (GDP) of the emirate. This vital sector is a major source of innovations, products, and services as well as new markets and business models.”

Al Qamzi added: “Dubai SME100 initiative aims to enhance overall SME performance in Dubai, which in turn will reflect positively on the economic landscape in the emirate, and we are delighted to see the initiative growing in strength in terms of the number of companies applying.”

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME commented: “The SME sector is the central nerve of Dubai’s economy providing flexibility, diversity and sustainability to the emirate’s business environment. The Government of Dubai has hence made this sector a top priority in its social and economic development agenda and a key pillar of Dubai’s regional and global competitiveness.”

The 4,532 companies, which registered in the third cycle of Dubai SME100 represented an increase of 49 % compared to the 3,041 companies registered in 2013. The companies registered in 2014 had a total revenue estimated at AED 69.5 billion and a workforce of around 144,000. The lion’s share of the participants in 2014 – 57% – came from the Services sector while 34.5% came from Trading and 8.4% from manufacturing.

Al Janahi added: “In the second phase, the 200 shortlisted companies will be evaluated on the basis of their financial performance over the last three years, with focus on cumulative growth in revenue and profits. The field visits are intended to evaluate the companies based on non-financial criteria such as innovation, human capital development, and corporate governance orientation in addition to corporate social responsibility standards, which was recently added in cooperation with the Dubai Chamber.”

Dubai SME has designed a development package for the SME100 companies in the 2015 cycle covering areas such as human capital, investment, corporate governance principles, and a self-assessment toolkits, in addition to providing legal support and introducing the ranked companies to concepts and methods of innovation.


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