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Dubai Internet City Affirms Role As Enabling Platform For Entrepreneurs And SMEs
(23 May 2017)

 

Some of the UAE's leading business and teechnology experts discussed the secrets of successful entrepreneurship with a focus on how best to harness business opportunities, at the 20th edition of TECOM SME Builder organised by Dubai Internet City (DIC), the leading technology business community in the region. The event is just one example of how DIC has successfully established itself as a strong platform and enabler of SMEs and start-ups in the Gulf and beyond.

Launched by the TECOM Group in 2007, TECOM SME Builder has been a highly successful event series, consisting of two to three annual events organized specifically to serve its 11 business communities in Dubai that offer home to over 5,100 companies and a total workforce of 76,000. Created on the back of positive forecasts that outlined the important role of the SME sector in the growth of the UAE's economy, the event enables small business owners to open a dialogue with and build a network of experts and consultants in different operational aspects of the industry.

Ammar Al Malik, Executive Director, Dubai Internet City, said: A key focus for Dubai Internet City is to support the region's entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs by offering a solid platform and access to a pool of knowledge and expertise that can enable them to grow their business. Our philosophy is based on fostering a diverse ecosystem conducive to ideation and the exchange of knowledge and best practices. With events like TECOM SME Builder, our aim is to facilitate thought leadership and contribute to the development of sector expertise and the growth of the economy.

The UAE has maintained its leading position as the region's tech start-up hub for the fourth consecutive year, and is home to one-third of all Middle East and North Africa (MENA) investors and 19 venture capitalists, the highest in the region, according to the State of Digital Investment in MENA 2013-2016 report released by Dubai SME last week. The report also states that tech start-up investments in 2016 hit a record US$900 million in the Middle East with the UAE in the lead.

He added: Fully aligned with the National Innovation Strategy, DIC is committed to fostering a culture of innovation and supporting a generation of innovators capable of carving a niche for the country on an international scale.

Held on 22 May at the Arjaan Rotana in Dubai Media City, TECOM SME Builder brought together over 100 professionals, from entrepreneurs and start-ups to established SMEs, as well as a number of renowned speakers, including Amir Atiatalla, Strategy Manager at YVOLV, Alibaba Cloud's joint venture in the Middle East, Julia Jackle, Co-founder & CEO, Creative971, Suzanna Kalendzhian, Founder, LegalAdviceME.com, and Mahdi Kilani, Head of Business Banking Division, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

The morning saw presentations on '˜Innovation Funding: How to get it right' by Martin Roussel, Managing Director of the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) and '˜Dubai SME Rating Framework (RATE)' by Salama Al Falasi, Principal Executive in the Strategy and Policy department at Dubai SME, a government agency focused on developing entrepreneurship and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Emirate.

TECOM SME Builder also featured speed table sessions for one-to-one expert consultations and offered an opportunity for attendees to network with inspiring innovators, thought leaders and peers.

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