The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), which promotes entrepreneurship development and the growth of competitive small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UAE, recently announced it is considering launching an incubator programme to provide Emirati innovators with the support needed to develop their ideas.
Currently, the Fund and Chairman Hussain al Nowais are in the progress of creating a vision for the programme and the mode of action. He and the Fund are discussing the program with multiple possible partners, including those from the investment and education sectors. The Fund is also forming digital services that will enable innovators to electronically submit their plans for consideration. Hussain al Nowais anticipates the Fund will release a mobile platform to access the Fund’s services by this time next year.
Small and medium-sized enterprises make up nearly 92% of all companies in the UAE and provide over 86% private sector jobs. Last year, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa approved Federal Law No. 2 of 2015, which provides incentives, as well as funding provisions and mandatory support from federal entities, to the owners of Emirati SMEs. The Central Bank is also planning to enact guidelines to increase bank lending to the SMEs, which currently makes up just 3% of all bank lending. The sector’s contribution to economic output is expected to rise from around 60% to 70% by 2020.
About the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development
Launched on June 3, 2007, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development helps develop local enterprises, with a total of AED 2 billion in capital investment. The Fund works to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs in the UEA by inspiring the culture of investment among young Emiratis, while developing and supporting SME investments. The Fund also offers widespread integrated programs to satisfy the needs and requirements of investors who want to form or expand investments in the UAE.