Abdul Baset, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME and Douglas Beckett, Head of Retail Banking Group at Mashreq during the signing
Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai, entrusted with the development of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, signed a partnership agreement with leading UAE financial institution Mashreq to offer benefits to the top 100 SMEs.
HE Abdul Baset, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, expressed his gratitude to Mashreq for its commitment and support of this critical initiative to champion the development of the SME sector. He said “Dubai SME100 is a major milestone and I am glad that valued partners like Mashreq is partnering Dubai SME to offer benefits to the top 100 companies. I am confident that as the Dubai SME100 initiative grows in strength, more benefits will be added, which will only benefit the development of our SMEs”.
Douglas Beckett, Head of Retail Banking Group commented, “For Mashreq, the SME segment is a key focus area as it constitutes an important and growing part of the economy. We have been actively involved in fostering entrepreneurship through our support of the Dubai SME’s Young Business Leader Award as well as the Young Arab Leader Award. Our partnership with Dubai SME100 is yet another example of Mashreq demonstrating its commitment to the success and growth of this sector. With its successful track record of over 40 years in the banking landscape, Mashreq will continue to play a major role in empowering business owners and offering them tailor-made banking solution.”
Benefits offered by Mashreq Bank
Dubai SME100 companies will be able to access Mashreq’s Value-added Business Account packages with a host of privileges including enhanced Debit Card, Online Banking and preferred branch/ SME Centre access. These include a discounted tariff on Remittances and Account services, and access to dedicated and experienced Relationship Manager. Mashreq also provides access to diverse financing options – Business Loans with no collateral, Trade and Working Capital facilities, and Overdrafts for Merchants against POS receivables.
In line with the strategy to groom promising SMEs, the Dubai SME 100 ranking will act as a platform and catalyst to identify promising SMEs – to 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 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.