Business advisory professionals need to provide a variety of services that go beyond audit, tax advisory and other compliance-related advice. They should offer more proactive support to SMEs in their planning for expansion plans, by supporting them in identifying and building relationships with banks and other key financiers or facilitate introductions between these funding sources and SME clients.
While noting that SME’s have better support programs today more than ever, David Moleshead, the Chairman and Founder of Envestors MENA, said more still needs to be done for genuine entrepreneurship to grow and become sustainable.
For SMEs to provide more quality jobs and for genuine entrepreneurship to grow more widely, a number of important challenges need to be tackled. These challenges mostly include problems of bookkeeping as owners frequently have no clear idea of their balance sheets and lack proper accountancy training.
SMEs need finance to grow, and this will not be forthcoming on a sufficient scale, unless the accountancy culture in the country changes.
Overall, although authorities have been stimulating the supply of finance for SMEs and interest rates continue at an all-time low, SMEs remain reluctant to take up loans because of increasing scrutiny of their books and financial regulatory requirements.
Needless to say that the current situation in relation to SMEs and their finance opportunities remains vibrant. It does seem clear that the non-conventional sources of finance in the UAE are sufficient to meet the needs of SMEs in the current economic climate.