Haitham Al Refaie, the Head of Business Banking at NBAD
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the Number One Bank in the UAE, has participated in Enhancing SME Finance Seminar held recently at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s headquarters.
The Enhancing SME Finance Seminar was held under the patronage of H.E Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy. It aimed to reduce the gap between the supply and demandthat small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face in services and products that help the sector grow.
The Seminar offered SMEs the opportunity to learn about options in financing facilities, ways of maximisingthe effectiveness of an application and a chance to speak to bank representatives.
“Theevent had highlightedthe challenges that entrepreneurs face before and after starting up a business,and ittried to find solutions by bringing together financial services providers, business experts and SME,”said Haitham Al Refaie, the Head of Business Banking Group at NBAD.“This seminar helped to identify the most needed products and services by business owners and recognise the gap that needs to be filled.”
During the event, the Chamber launched its ‘Guidelines for Enhancing SME Finance’ which provided a list of required documentation as well as tips for successful applications. It also offered applicants with contextual examples to help them identify the most important aspects to focus on, while providing guidance on what to emphasisein an interview with a bank's relationship manager.
In addition to the guidelines, the seminar included a panel discussion between banks and SME representatives. Participating banks also held interviews and meetings with SME owners.
“Our participationintheevent was not only to representthe NBAD and provide guidance to business owners, but also to advise them the best solutions that suit their business requirements and help them to grow, as well as informthemaboutalternative optionsavailable toreducetheshortages,” said Mr. Al Refaie.
To support SMEs and facilitate their growth, NBAD launched several services for example E-Business Banking, NBAD Visa Business Credit Card, Vehicle Finance and Rent Finance. The Bank also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with various government entities such as Dubai SME, RAK FTZ, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Moreover, the Bank administers Khalifa Fund through its partnership with Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.
NBAD has opened 11 Business Banking Centres: four in Abu Dhabi, four in Dubai, and one each in Al Ain, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaima. The Bank plans to launch four more business banking centres throughout the UAE by the end of 2012.