Original article published on the www.businesspulse.ae dated 15 March 2016
Dubai, UAE – SME World 2016, the third edition of the largest entrepreneurship conference in the Middle East & North Africa region, was inaugurated today by His Excellency Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME. He also presented the Disruptive Entrepreneur Awards 2016 to six winning SMEs in two categories – Start-up and Established SME Business.
The winners in the start-up category were: 1) Beehive, the UAE’s first Peer to Peer financing platform that has acquired over 3,000 clients in the last two years; 2) Load ME, the Uber of trucking with a network of 6,500 trucks and the first transporters market in the Middle East; and 3) Travall, a first of its kind mobile app offering a video concierge to the city.
The winners of the Established SME Business category were: 1) IXTEL Technologies, a supplier of network services for converged infrastructures that has acquired 500 clients in the last 3 years; 2) RTS Global Partners, a family business advisory and professional services firm supporting hundreds of international clients in over 150 disciplines; and 3) Taka Solutions, an engineering and technology company that uses an innovative paid-from-savings business model to reduce energy consumption and carbon from buildings.
Delivering his keynote at SME World 2016, H. E. Al Janahi elaborated on how the UAE’s initiatives and actions are ‘Enabling Global Ambitions,’ for SMEs which was the theme of the summit.
“Dubai was the first in the region to adopt a definition for SMEs and in Dubai SME, we are focusing on a variety of initiatives, to see entrepreneurial projects evolve from ideas to actual businesses, and then grow into global enterprises,” Al Janahi said, referring to initiatives such as Dubai SME100, which ranks top-performing SMEs in the UAE to enable them grow into globally competent enterprises.
“Dubai realises its future is in creating a knowledge-based economy that sustains itself on innovation. And there is no better way to that future than investing in our SMEs, and enhancing the knowledge of people driving these enterprises,” added Al Janahi.
Organised by SPI Group, UAE’s top SME platform, in partnership with Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the SME sector, the one-day summit was attended by more than 2,500 entrepreneurs, business magnates, investors, heads of government departments and C-Suite executives. It hosted powerful keynotes from international speakers, engaging panel discussions, strategic workshops, an exhibition showcasing leading service providers and an art expo showcasing over 25 international artists.
“With SMEs already contributing over 60% of the country’s non-oil GDP – and likely to contribute as much as 70% by 2021 – it is clear that this segment has a pivotal role in securing future prosperity, and we fervently believe the next generation of Microsoft technologies is an ideal fit for those businesses in the journey ahead,” said Tareq Hijazi – Small and Mid-Market Solutions and Partners Group, Microsoft Gulf, the exclusive technology partner of the summit.
“Our participation in the SME World summit is part of a mission that we share with Dubai SME, and solidifies our commitment towards UAE in empowering businesses with tools that they can leverage, and unlock their potential to achieve more” he added
Welcoming the delegates, panellists, partners and speakers, Shantanu AP, CEO of SPI Group, said, “SME World 2016 is a celebration of success and aims to help small and medium businesses emerge as leaders on a global scale. It is heartening to see the sheer number of businesses share our vision for unifying the UAE’s SME sector. Even as we have worked hard to organise this conference, it would not have seen the success it has without the support of our sponsors and our partners. I wish to thank everyone who has contributed and been associated with SME World 2016.”
SME World 2016 is supported by Strategic SME Partner Etisalat, Corporate Banking Partner Emirates NBD, Sole Automotive Partner Al Futtaim Toyota, Insurance Partner AIG and Silver Sponsor Oracle.
The SME Service Provider Expo at SME World 2016 helped SME service providers showcase their products and services, present their success stories and share their growth plans with industry, governments, investors and the general public. Panel discussions at the summit featured global thought leaders as they presented their insights on entrepreneurship. SME World 2016 featured insightful and engaging workshops with the industry’s leading thought-leaders.
SME World 2016 is the premier event for entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and business enablers from the MENA region. It provides some of the best opportunities for business growth and brings together leading entrepreneurs and businesses under one roof.