As part of its strategy to enhance cooperation with government departments in advancing business and entrepreneurship, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has signed a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.
Under the MoU the two sides will work together to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in Dubai and Sharjah and achieve the vision of the respective emirates of enabling SMEs to be major drivers of economic, social and cultural development. The two entities aim to create an environment that supports the launch of new businesses and start-up growth.
The MoU was signed by His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, and H.E. Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.
“This is an extremely positive initiative which highlights the importance of cooperation and integration between all government departments and entities in other emirates.” said Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq.
“Collaborating with such a successful business development organisation as Dubai SME will boost the sector in both emirates, as we share our experience and knowledge. This provides exceptional support for start-up businesses and provides continuous guidance and practical help to those who are have already taken advantage of the outstanding opportunities the emirates have to offer,” he added.
“According to the Ministry of Economy, the 350,000 businesses that fall under the SME category represent 94% of the total number of companies operating in the UAE – with more than 55,200 of those are based in the Emirate of Sharjah. The overall number of these SMEs provides jobs for 86% of the private workforce, reaffirming the importance of supporting this vital sector to boost economic growth and enhance investments,” Al Sarkal noted.
“Together, Shurooq and Dubai SME will explore best practices and offer guidance to overcome and eliminate any obstacles that businesspeople may face,” the CEO of Shurooq added.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi commented: “The SME sector in the UAE has evolved remarkably during the past decade chiefly due to support from the government. Dubai SME is currently working on a SME 2021 Plan drawing on the emphasis given to innovation and entrepreneurship in the Dubai 2021 Plan. The focus of our plan is on encouraging and enabling people who have innovative ideas to turn them into successful business projects that add value to the national economy. Dubai SME has also varied programmes to stimulate growth and adoption of innovative business models among SMEs as well as to enhance productivity in the sector eventually integrating them as key players in a competitive, knowledge-based economy as envisioned by the Dubai Plan 2021.”
Al Janahi added that the partnership with Shurooq would promote the exchange of ideas and best practices in entrepreneurial growth. “It will enhance the profile of the UAE as an entrepreneurial hub and eventually reflect positively on the gross domestic product in Dubai as well as Sharjah, and across the UAE in general.”
Referring to the success of entrepreneurial support initiatives adopted by Dubai and Sharjah in eliminating obstacles for businesses as well as in encouraging innovations, initiative and responsibility among the youth, Al Janahi said the partnership between Dubai SME and Shurooq would witness a new phase of strategies and action plans aimed to groom SMEs in the UAE to be among the best in the world.
The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) provides small businesses with unique investment opportunities, including entire projects such as Souq Al Shanasiyah, with entire 17 stores allocated to young Emirati businesspeople.