Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has launched a new digital crowdfunding platform ‘Dubai Next’ to support entrepreneurs and startups by encouraging positive competition and motivating youth to put forward innovative ideas.
The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is a key pillar of the national economy, and the UAE continues to give increasing attention to the sector through initiatives and programs rolled out to support entrepreneurship in the city, Sheikh Hamdan said.
“The ‘Dubai Next’ platform will contribute to stimulating positive competition and encouraging youth to put forward innovative ideas as well as obtain community support through crowdfunding. It will also empower a generation that is capable of innovating to succeed in a competitive commercial environment, thus reinforcing the fundamental role of SMEs in economic development so that the UAE can continue to stand as a model for youth empowerment.”
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of capital from a large group of people, usually through the internet.
Dubai, the commercial and trading hub of the Middle East, is home to a number of global tech startups that have chosen to base their headquarters in the emirate due to its business-friendly legislation.
The new platform will support the startups in Dubai to secure the required funding to launch their projects. It will allow students and innovators to pitch before potential investors and allow emerging enterprises to grow, expand and launch new products in the market.
The SME sector represents more than 94 percent of total companies and employs over 86 percent of the private sector workforce in the UAE, according to a report published by Dubai Chamber.
Within Dubai, SMEs constitute 95 percent of companies and employ 42 percent of the workforce, contributing to 40 percent of the emirate’s economy, the report added.
“The Dubai Next platform is fully aligned with the Dubai SMEs mission to create platforms that promote entrepreneurship. The launch of the initiative indicates the Dubai government’s efforts to provide innovative solutions to the challenges faced by innovators,” Abdul Al Janahi, chief executive of Dubai SME, said.