Khalifa Fund set to host SME Toolkit 2015 Global Partner Conference next week in Abu Dhabi

Press release
Published November 8th, 2015 - 06:44 GMT

In line with its strategy to promote entrepreneurship and support SMEs, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development is set to host the 5th edition of SME Toolkit 2015 Partner Conference for the first time in the region, in association with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank.

The conference will be held under the theme of "Unlocking SME Potential through Partnerships, Innovation and Technology Solutions”, from 9th to the 12th November at St. Regis Hotel, Abu Dhabi Corniche.  Keynote speakers include: H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of Foreign Trade and Industry in UAE, Mouayed Makhlouf, Director of the MENA region, IFC and Stefano Negri, Manager, Competitive Industries Global Practice, The World Bank.

The conference aims to provide a dynamic platform to the representatives of the local SME Toolkit projects, as well as IFC and the private sector, to discuss future direction of the program and build partners’ knowledge on the latest thinking in SME learning, innovation and technology. It also aims to reflect on experiences and lessons learned to date and allow partners to network with other expert members of the community.

On Day 2 (10th November), the event will feature “Innovation Conference 2015” – a conference dedicated to discussing the role of different entities in supporting innovation in SME sector.   It will attended by key government officials, global technical companies, public and private partners, academia and successful SMEs in the UAE.

H.E Abdullah Saeed Al Darmaki, CEO of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said: “SME Toolkit 2015 Partner Conference and Innovation Conference offer a prestigious global platform to exchange knowledge and experiences and discuss the challenges facing the SME sector in emerging economies and developing countries. At Khalifa Fund, we are keen to support value-added projects as we recognise the importance of innovation for developing a knowledge society and a knowledge-based economy.

We have received an overwhelming response to the Ibtikari programme, which was launched earlier this year to help cultivate entrepreneurial culture among UAE Nationals and encourage innovation around specific themes. Since its introduction, a number of technical ideas and innovative applications have been launched. All of this demonstrates our commitment to creating a new generation of Emirati entrepreneurs by instilling and enriching the culture of investment amongst young people, as well as supporting and developing small to medium-sized investments in the Emirate.”

Jin-Yong Cai, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said: “SMEs are the basic engines of growth for the economies in the region due to its important role in providing job opportunities and promoting economic diversification. Hosting this global event confirms UAE’s vision and support for SME projects and its efforts in creating the right business environment for the growth of these projects.”

SME Toolkit is an online platform that helps entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) all over the world to learn and implement sustainable business management practices and increase their productivity, efficiency, and capacity, as well as improve their access to finance and new markets.

For more information about SME 2015 Conference, please visit: http://uae.smetoolkit.org/uae/en

Background Information

Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development

Khalifa Fund was established in June 2007 by the virtue of the (Law 14 of 2005), as an independent, Not for Profit Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Socio Economic Development agency of the Government of Abu Dhabi. The purpose of establishing the fund is to help develop local enterprises in Abu Dhabi by instilling and enriching the culture of investment amongst UAE nationals, as well as supporting and developing small to medium-sized investments in the Emirate. Khalifa Fund started with a total capital of AED 300 million, which was gradually increased to AED 2 billion and covering all the UAE.

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