At GITEX Global 2022, in the presence of a number of UAE ministers and the project’s strategic partners
MOE launches phase II of The Entrepreneurial Nation
- H.E. Bin Touq: This is a new milestone in the UAE’s efforts to develop its entrepreneurial ecosystem, through which we aim to enhance the country’s position as a global hub for entrepreneurship
- Phase II to support 8,000 startups & SMEs in the UAE and transform over 20 startups into unicorns by 2031
AbuDhabi, 13 October 2022
The Ministry of Economy launched the second phase of The Entrepreneurial Nation, the comprehensive and one of a kind national project for the development of the UAE’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the overall national entrepreneurial landscape. Phase II of the project, which is based on the largest public-private sector partnerships of their kind, is aimed at developing the tools to foster the culture and practices of entrepreneurship in the UAE. It will also open up new channels for entrepreneurs to access more opportunities, enabling the growth of startups and SMEs and their business expansion from the UAE to various other global markets. More partnerships and collaboration with a wide range of public and private sector partners will be forged, including business incubators and funds, commerce chambers, and prestigious local and global companies and organizations, to achieve the goals of the second phase.
The launch took place at GITEX Global 2022, which is being held at the Dubai World Trade Center, in the presence of H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; H.E. Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education; H.E. Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; H.E. Shama Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs; and the program’s strategic partners.
H.E. Bin Touq said: “Today, we begin a new chapter in supporting the development of the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through the launch of the second phase of The Entrepreneurial Nation project. This project has become an important asset in the government’s efforts to support, develop, and empower startups in the country and provide them with necessary growth tools in accordance with global best practices, in addition to increasing their contribution to the national GDP growth. The project also plays a vital role in attracting leading global businesses and promising companies to set up their headquarters in the UAE, thus consolidating the country’s position as a global hub for entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.”
H.E added: “Phase I of The Entrepreneurial Nation was able to achieve remarkable accomplishments, including AED 20 million worth of support provided to entrepreneurs and startups from the project’s private sector partners, and 1,000 projects, out of more than 5,000 SMEs and business ventures that signed up through The Entrepreneurial Nation portal, were given support. Moreover, 10 programs were specially designed and launched for the participating entrepreneurs, and partnerships were formed with 50 universities and 90 schools in order to raise younger generations that are equipped with entrepreneurial skills and capable of entering the market with strong and sustainable qualifications.”
He continued: “Phase II builds on the distinguished success of the first phase, in line with the ongoing development of the UAE’s new economic model according to the vision of its wise leadership, to be more sustainable, flexible and innovative, and in line with the objectives of the 50 and the determinants of the UAE Centennial 2071.”
In addition, H.E. stated that The Entrepreneurial Nation has ambitious and long-term objectives, the most notable of which is providing support to over 8,000 startups and SMEs in the UAE and transforming over 20 startups into unicorns by the year 2031. H.E. also explained that in cooperation with its partners, the Ministry of Economy is providing all the necessary tools and expertise to fuel the growth of SMEs, empower entrepreneurs in the UAE, and remove all obstacles hindering their further expansion and global reach.
Phase II to forge local & cross-border partnerships
The phase II of The Entrepreneurial Nation will witness the further expansion of the existing network of partnerships to include new alliances and MoUs with authorities at the federal, local and global levels to meet the initiative’s ambitious strategic objectives, including refining of the skills and practices of entrepreneurship in the country.
The phase II will feature the launch of 12 new programs that provide entrepreneurs and owners of SMEs with the best expertise, digital tools, and financing solutions needed to grow their businesses in line with international best practices. They will also help the initiative’s members to set up affiliates and offices in the target countries and foreign markets and provide them with competitive prices to access services and business development. Phase II will also host the 16th edition of the Arab Startup Competition organized by the MIT Enterprise, in addition to providing direct funding through the program’s virtual platform in collaboration with e& group, and the launch of the specialized television program for entrepreneurship in cooperation with Biban.
Achievements of first phase
Over nearly a year since the launch of its first phase, The Entrepreneurial Nation has succeeded in forging a series of more than 35 partnerships, which are the largest of their kind between the government, the national private sector, and prestigious international institutions and companies concerned with entrepreneurship. These partners include the MIT Enterprise Pan Arab region, Microsoft, Google, Huawei, Cisco, UPS, Linkedin, Meta, e& Group, Amazon, Bizworld, Emirates Foundation for School Education, Hub71, the In5 platform for enabling entrepreneurs and startups, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Flat6Labs accelerator, Department of Education and Knowledge in Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, Emirates Development Bank, Dubai Future Foundation, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai, Potential Learning Platform, Skillza, King & Spalding, among other leading companies and platforms concerned with the development of entrepreneurs and SMEs and providing direct and indirect financing support to them.
In its first phase, The Entrepreneurial Nation set the foundations for successful, long-term partnerships to support participants and help them expand globally with integrated capabilities and high competitiveness. These include the launch of the UAE-India Start-Up Corridor, which provides a mutual platform for SMEs that includes complete features and information for companies in both countries, and allows for the exchange of knowledge, implementation of joint programs, and skill development, in order to provide investment opportunities for startups in both countries that will help their continued growth. An agreement with the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia was also signed, creating a unique opportunity that facilitates participants’ access to European markets through the agency’s representative offices. In addition, the collaboration between Emirati and Korean companies was strengthened in the new economy sectors, including smart agriculture and advanced technologies, leading to facilitated access to the investment opportunities available in those sectors, as part of the agreement signed between the Ministry of Economy and the Korea Federation of SMEs. Phase I also enabled participating companies in the UAE to expand into Saudi Arabia through subsidized market entry packages. In its Phase II, The Entrepreneurial Nation will continue to expand its global partner network to support the growth of participating SMEs and their global expansion.
The Entrepreneurial Nation program received many global awards, including Ecosystem Initiative Award in 2021. The project was highlighted as a leading example for public-private partnership model, based on a case study conducted by Indonesia, which was published during the G20 meeting.
A comprehensive national portal
On November 10, 2021, the Ministry of Economy launched phase 1 of the Entrepreneurial Nation, a comprehensive national portal, to fundamentally transform the national SMEs landscape by instilling a culture of entrepreneurship in its current and future generations. It is further aimed at empowering Emirati entrepreneurs operating in various economic sectors by offering all enablers of success. These efforts fall in line with the country’s vision for the entrepreneurship sector as key to establishing its new economic model and promoting its sustainability and competitiveness, globally.
The first phase of the project included three major pillars:
These include the SkillUp Academy, to equip participants with entrepreneurial skills and ensure their successful implementation on the ground, to raise a generation of youth that is entrepreneurially inclined, and offer them a supportive environment. The Academy trains Emirati and resident entrepreneurs in today’s entrepreneurial practices and skills, thus preparing them to lead high-growth companies. The first phase saw the launch four tracks, which are the SkillUp Start, SkillUp Enable, ،SkillUp Compete, and SkillUp Experience.
Meanwhile, the StartUp programme focuses on improving the business environment in the country and simplifying the process of setting up a business in the UAE for entrepreneurs in the UAE and abroad. The first stage saw the launch two tracks, which are the StartUp Account and the StartUp Leap.
Finally, the ScaleUp programme is designed to support qualified companies in expanding and becoming large corporations in the future. It further targets promoting these companies’ ability to achieve success in foreign markets. The first stage of this program launched five tracks that focus on supporting digital transformation, operational services, and expansion in international markets, as well as promoting marketing, exports, financing, and business competency through its programs. These programs are ScaleUp Export, SccaleUp Digitize, ScaleUp Perform, ScaleUp Raise, and ScaleUp Expand.
The Ministry of Economy stated that new tracks and programmes as part of phase II of The Entrepreneurial Nation will be gradually announced in the upcoming stage. Entrepreneurs and SME-owners can benefit from the programs, services, and incentives offered by The Entrepreneurial Nation by visiting https://theentrepreneurialnation.com/