Handshakes during the agreement signing
Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) entrusted with the development of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has signed a partnership agreement with HSBC to offer priority banking services and knowledge support on financial management to the top 100 SMEs in Dubai.
SMEs currently being ranked under the “Dubai SME 100” initiative of Dubai SME will be entitled to the privileged customer benefits provided by HSBC.
His Excellency Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, thanked HSBC for their commitment and support for the SME ranking initiative, launched to champion the cause of SMEs and their evolution. “It’s encouraging to see Dubai SME 100 drawing an overwhelming response from critical financial institutions and knowledge providers. I am confident that as the HSBC coming on board this initiative is only a beginning. As Dubai SME 100 grows in strength, we will have more partners like HSBC, working with us to promote SME growth,” he said.
“With a wide global presence, and proven expertise in helping local companies expand their international business capabilities, HSBC is excited about the potential of this partnership with the Dubai SME team,” commented Rana Al Emam, Head of Business Banking UAE. “Our commitment to the SME sector is well known in the UAE, and we have a strategic commitment to drive the growth of small and medium sized companies in order to build a strong mid-market and corporate sector in the decades to come. “
Dubai SME 100 companies will be able to work closely with HSBC’s Business Relationship Managers, tapping HSBC’s global presence to expand their footprint and link with businesses in target geographies. The SME 100 companies will have a single point of contact in opening overseas accounts with HSBC, or in syndicating, arranging and financing multi-currency term loans and/or working capital facilities.
The SME 100 companies will also have access to HSBC’s Knowledge Support Centre, which offers seminars on financial management in areas such as trade financing, cash flow management and economic overviews.
Dubai SME 100
The Dubai SME 100 ranking will act as a platform and catalyst to identify promising SMEs and groom them to become bigger, better and sustainable enterprises, eventually graduating them to large globally-oriented companies. At its core, the ranking is aimed at:
Celebrating Dubai’s top performing SMEs
Creating greater awareness of the importance of SME development
Creating a national motivational psyche in the nation’s social and business community
Encouraging SME role models to share their best practices in management
Marketing the capabilities of Dubai’s SME’s to regional and global investors
Providing opportunities for SMEs to raise capital
Creating a base of SMEs for a potential secondary listing of SMEs (IPO) that can attract equity capital for growth
Providing development path for SMEs to graduate
Creating a culture of transparency, corporate governance and best practice sharing.
Unlike other rankings which are based mainly or purely on financial indicators, the Dubai SME 100 ranking places a balanced emphasis on financial and non-financial dimensions of enterprise performance and development. The non-financial dimensions cover Innovation, International Orientation, Human Capital Development and Corporate Excellence.
The ranking will also serve as a tool for helping SMEs identify capability gaps for improvement. The ultimate outcome is for Dubai to have more growth-oriented, innovative, capable and sustainable enterprises that can fly the UAE flag high.
The basic criterion for ranking is that the applicant must be an SME based on the official definition of Dubai’s SMEs, with up to 250 employees and a turnover of up to AED250 million. In addition, it must have audited financial statements for at least three years, and be an independent entity registered in Dubai (under DED or any Free Zone).
Over 830 eligible SMEs have been nominated by banks, business councils and Free Zones to participate in the initiative, with more nominations expected in the next few weeks. The first ever Dubai SME100 ranking list will be out in late October 2011.