The region’s best entrepreneurship development initiatives and the most important drivers of entrepreneurial success were in focus at the ‘SME World 2019’ summit held today in Dubai. Organised by Dubai SME – the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector – and SPI Greatsands group, the summit hosted over 1,000 dignitaries including leading entrepreneurs as well as public and private sector strategists contributing to entrepreneurship development and startup success in the region.
The annual summit, now in its sixth year, also celebrated successful entrepreneurs from various verticals and featured some of the region’s most innovative startups like Fetchr, Starz play & Ekar.
His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, underlined the growing role of entrepreneurship as an enabler of sustainable economic and social development globally in his opening keynote and said: “Coming to the UAE, the National Agenda 2021 aims to see the country among the world’s best in entrepreneurship. One of the themes of the Dubai Plan 2021 is to build a city of happy, creative and empowered people, which also speaks of the emphasis given to ideas and enterprise in shaping the emirate’s future economy and society.”
Al Qamzi also referred to Dubai SME’s initiatives in mobilising support from the government and the private sector for entrepreneurial projects in the UAE. “The number of entrepreneurs who have benefited from the start-up, advisory and development services of Dubai SME now stands at 34,694, and we have assisted in the formation of 6,053 Emirati enterprises. The Hamdan Innovation Incubator of Dubai SME alone has helped 571 projects take off.”
With a powerful line-up of speakers, engaging sessions, insightful keynotes and workshops the summit provided a productive SME networking platform in line with its theme ‘Accelerating Growth.’ In addition to exclusive interviews with Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, and renowned business tycoon, Nawab Shaji Al Mulk, and a keynote by Vikas Thapar- Head of Business Banking, First Abu Dhabi Bank, the summit also brought international speakers Graham Moore and Rohit Bassi as well as Randah Taher, Founder of the innovation consultancy, Sajory. Globally acclaimed law firm, Taylor Wessing conducted a workshop focusing on building strong companies through a proper legal framework.
“SMEs need to be armed with knowledge and best business practices to achieve optimum benefits from the multitude of opportunities before them. At Dubai SME we seek to create an ideal knowledge environment and support system for entrepreneurial talent and promising startups. In recent years we have been particularly focusing on encouraging SMEs to embrace corporate governance practices, adopt innovative technologies, and acquire specific skill sets, thereby enhancing their potential for attracting investment and growth funding,” Abdul Baset Al Janahi commented during the interview.
Shantanu Phansalkar, CEO of SPI Greatsands, added: “Leadership, Culture, Technology and Innovation are the centerpieces of today’s businesses and there cannot be a better place to experience the best than SME World summit. The summit is a focussed immersion and an amalgamation of amazing speakers, inspiring leaders and world-class innovative organisations.”