Emirates NBD outlines SME criteria for $136.1M Dubai Initiative | The Asian Banker
Sunday, 3 March 2024

Emirates NBD outlines SME criteria for $136.1M Dubai Initiative

5 min read

Emirates NBD revealed the criteria for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate in the first phase of the AED500 million ($136.1 million) 'Dubai International Growth Initiative'.

The groundbreaking initiative was introduced in January by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, to accelerate the global expansion of Dubai-founded SMEs.

Launched to strengthen Dubai’s position as a leading global business hub and support the important role the private sector plays in nurturing the growth of the Emirates’ economy, the 'Dubai International Growth Initiative' is aligned with the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to double the size of the Emirates' GDP.

The first phase of the initiative is open to Dubai-founded SMEs in select sectors including food and beverage (F&B), fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail, including parts and machinery distribution, e-commerce, services and manufacturing. Additional sectors will be added in subsequent phases. Focusing on Dubai's key strategic sectors, the initiative ensures that approved participants will gain access to financing for their global expansion.

Through the support of Emirates NBD, the initiative will facilitate up to AED15 million ($4 million) in financing to eligible businesses for up to seven years, allowing them to manage cashflow effectively during their global expansion phase. The cost of financing will be based on the Emirates’ Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR), with no additional margin.

A joint steering committee, comprising representatives from the Government of Dubai and Emirates NBD, will be responsible for guiding the initiative. The committee will be responsible for selecting eligible SMEs, overseeing the implementation of the initiative and ensuring its success in meeting the Emirates' strategic objectives.

To participate in the initiative, SMEs must meet a set of eligibility criteria that align with the strategic vision of the Government of Dubai. To be eligible, SMEs are required to:

  • Be founded and operational in Dubai, with a proven successful business model.
  • Operate within the sectors of F&B, FMCG, retail, including parts and machinery distribution, e-commerce, services and manufacturing.
  • Use the financing to establish global business expansion of their current line of business.
  • Effectively manage the repayments based on cashflows from their current operations.
  • Present a comprehensive business plan outlining their strategy for global growth.

Upon fulfilling the initial eligibility criteria, a dedicated specialist will conduct a comprehensive review of the applicant's business followed by the joint steering committee’s review for inclusion in the initiative. Qualified applicants will work closely with Emirates NBD to receive tailored financial solutions to address their unique growth needs.

All Dubai-founded SMEs, irrespective of the nationality of the owner, can benefit from the 'Dubai International Growth Initiative', which seeks to empower SMEs to expand internationally.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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