Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has opened registration of applicants in the Dubai SME100 ranking for 2013.
Dubai SME100 acts as a platform and catalyst to identify promising SMEs – to groom them into bigger, better and sustainable enterprises, eventually graduating them to large globally-oriented companies.The initiative aims to celebrate Dubai’s top performing SMEs to encourage continuous enterprise development, investment, and best practices in the SME sector.
The ranking provides SMEs with a firm ground to market their capabilities to regional and global investors while also assisting them in sourcing growth capital. By providing a reliable index of SME performance the ranking serves as a base of investable SMEs for a potential secondary listing of SMEs capable of taking the IPO (Initial Public Offering) route.
One of the key enterprise development strategy employed under the ranking is to create a culture of transparency, corporate governance and best practice sharing.
Unlike other rankings, which are based mainly or purely on financial dimensions, the Dubai SME 100 ranking places a balanced emphasis on financial and non-financial dimensions that affect enterprise performance and development. The non-financial dimensions cover Innovation, International Orientation, Human Capital Development and Corporate Governance.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, said: “The Dubai SME100 ranking not only embodies an innovative approach in developing SMEs but also signifies a turning point which leads this vital sector towards enhanced business capital and a range of growth enablers. The ranking is now entering its second cycle, reinforcing its relevance as a long-term plan to evolve into a local, regional and global role model in SME development.”
The basic criterion for the ranking is that the applicant must be an SME based on the official Dubai SME definition. In addition, it must have audited financial statements for at least three years and be an independent entity registered in Dubai (DED or FreeZones).
The ranking helps SMEs to identify gaps and work with Dubai SME and its partners to bridge those gaps. Following the 2011 ranking, Dubai SME executed various initiatives for SME 100 CEOs and managers to positively influence mindsets and encourage them to acquire new capabilities in corporate governance, innovation, financial management and valuation. The capability development programmes are open to all ranked SMEs for two years.
More than 650 participants from SME100 companies, including CEOs, COOs, CFOs, and senior management teams, attended various seminars, workshops and conferences following the first ranking. A key focus was on corporate governance and corporate valuations to help the SME CEOs understand the key drivers of business and the importance of being transparent.
Dubai SME also joined hands with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank to run workshops on corporate governance. The workshops were attended by 70 representatives from the SME100 companies while a Corporate Governance conference organised by Dubai SME attracted more than 250 people.
In addition, Dubai SME partnered with Hawkamah to launch a Code of Corporate Governance for SMEs as well as an Execution Guide. According to a Corporate Governance Case book released by Dubai SME on the SME100 companies the number of SMEs that have started to execute corporate governance is 13.
To facilitate growth financing and valuations, Dubai SME partnered Nasdaq Dubai and Shuaa Capital to help SME100 companies understand the various ways to raise growth and risk capital, as well as perform business valuations with a view to understanding the value drivers of growth. The ongoing initiative has benefitted 40 SMEs with about 14 of them keen to learn more about the IPO route and 12 having completed the valuation exercise.
In 2013 Dubai SME will launch joint initiatives in human capital development, innovation, financial management, insurance and risk management, in addition to current initiatives.
All SME stakeholders such as Free Zones, banks, financial institutions and business councils can nominate their top performing SMEs for the ranking.