State-owned lender Emirates Development Bank (EDB) has signed a deal with a Dubai-based peer-to-peer platform to give small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more funding options.
Under the deal, Dubai’s Beehive will distribute 30 million dirhams ($8.16 million) as loans to qualified businesses, with a focus on key sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, food security and technology.
It is part of the EDB’s push to help SMEs in the UAE significantly increase their contribution to the country’s economy.
“The collaboration with Beehive is part of our mission to bridge the funding gap by offering SMEs greater and easier access to financial sources,” Ahmed Mohamed Al-Naqbi, the bank’s CEO, said in a statement.
Beehive uses crowdfunding to connect small businesses, typically, to retail investors, but it has expanded to include institutional investors such as the EDB.
“The addition of institutional investors to Beehive will give SMEs more secure financing and better liquidity on the platform, which means that funding can be received faster too,” its founder, Craig Moore, said.
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