Crowdfunding platform Dubai Next succeeds to turn startup ideas into reality

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Dubai SME Khalifa Fund Stall
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Dubai Next, the region’s first digital crowdfunding platform launched earlier this year has fast evolved into a catalyst for innovative enterprise in new and emerging sectors as well as a meeting point for innovators and the wider community to share the benefits of startup financing.

The digital platform, launched in May 2021 by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council recently recorded another success story, its third within three months of launch when Takween, an Arabic learning program, concluded a campaign to raise the required capital through crowdfunding successfully. Takween follows Padel 26 and Vemudra, two campaigns that had a successful run on Dubai Next earlier.

Dubai Next is a forward-thinking initiative aimed at delivering the benefits of startup funding and digital technology to innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and society. It lets entrepreneurs start online campaigns and seek funds from contributors to transform their ideas into reality.

The non-profit platform operated by Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, is open to all nationalities and age groups in the UAE.

In recent months, Dubai Next has experienced an increase in campaigns and contributors. The platform now has 226 contributors, up from 59 in July 2021, and the number of campaigns created on the platform has also increased during the same period.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi
Abdul Baset Al Janahi
Dubai SME

“Dubai Next has proved to be the next big opportunity for the aspiring and ambitious startups in Dubai. As a broad platform, Dubai Next has created a sustainable growth ecosystem and social network for startup financing. The digital crowdfunding platform is emerging as an engine of social and economic development and Dubai’s strategic goal of being the global hub of entrepreneurship.”

Dubai SME is encouraging more contributors to join and support the campaigns live on the platform, which allows individuals as well as institutions to be part of innovative ventures that will have a significant impact on social development and economic diversification in the UAE.

Individuals or companies can contribute to a campaign on Dubai Next. Contributors get to choose from a variety of unique rewards offered by the campaign owner. The amount contributed can be refunded if the campaign fails to reach its target. Campaign owners keep 100 percent ownership of their projects. The Dubai NEXT platform cannot be used to offer equity or financial returns.

Related: Dubai-based automotive data platform AlgoDriven raises $2mn in Series A funding