UAE’s MoE & Flat6labs launch new initiative to help SMEs grow

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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The UAE Ministry of Economy, represented by The Entrepreneurial Nation, in collaboration with Flat6labs, a leading seed and early-stage venture capital firm based in Abu Dhabi, has launched a new initiative to attract Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the UAE and help promote their growth and local and global expansion.

The MoU was signed by Mr. Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary at the UAE Ministry of Economy, and Mr. Ryaan Sharif, General Manager of Flat6labs, in the presence of officials from both sides.

The ‘Flat6lab Ignite’ program will award a training session, an initial funding of $1,49,739.70 and other benefits offered by The Entrepreneurial Nation to the winners, based on specific criteria.

Abdullah Al Saleh
Abdullah Al Saleh

“The UAE attaches great significance to the entrepreneurial sector and it is a key pillar of our new economic model based on knowledge and innovation. Moreover, it plays an important role in the diversification of our national economy and promoting its global competitiveness, in line with the directives of our wise leadership and line with the Principles of the 50 and the UAE Centennial 2071 goals.”

The new initiative emphasizes the UAE’s strategic approach to empowering the entrepreneurial sector, by offering all the necessary prospects and tools for the growth of businesses through flexible and innovative legislation and incentives. These efforts are set to contribute to enhancing the participation of this vital sector in supporting GDP growth, strengthening the national innovation landscape, and consolidating the UAE’s position as a leading destination for entrepreneurs and startups from all over the world.

Under the terms of the MoU, several advantages and incentives will be available to companies that sign up for The Entrepreneurial Nation program. These include two golden tickets for the winners to attend a four-day training session at the Flat6Labs headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

Flat6Labs will bear all expenses, including travel, accommodation, and visa costs for the winning companies from outside the country to come and participate in the training session in the UAE capital. These companies will also get strategic guidance, a training course with startups, experts, and academic partners to develop their entrepreneurial skills, and many other advantages and services provided by Flat6Labs’ partners.

Mr. Sharif said that “We are proud to partner with the Ministry of Economy for this initiative, which will support the UAE’s journey to becoming a global hub for entrepreneurship. The initiative will enable startups to compete in local and global markets through Flat6labs Ignite program, from which nearly 27 companies have graduated since its launch, and many of them have achieved success.”

As for the criteria for acceptance to the program, the startup must be registered as a private company, and it must have a minimum viable product, with promising results for current use and future development, preferably with revenues.

Related: Emirates Islamic rolls out business banking account for women-led SMEs in UAE