Competition is growing among the UAE-based Islamic financial institutions to support the country`s SME sector. Aafaq Islamic Finance, one of the largest Islamic financial institutions in the country Introduced ‘Osool’ to empower Emirati SMEs.
In early February, Emirates Islamic expanded its support network to SMEs in the UAE.
Aafaq Islamic Finance, the leading Islamic Finance Company for individuals and companies in the UAE, in partnership with Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has announced a unique program called ‘Osool’ for Emirati SMEs to contribute towards the sustainable growth of the national economy.
The program aims to support the objective of the UAE Government to support initiatives and programs that enable local SMEs to source funding.
Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME commented: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has taught us to strive for the impossible, and has always motivated us to persevere and overcome challenges in accomplishing our goals so that the world acknowledges us and takes notice of our achievements across various sectors. Dubai SME, in line with His Highness’s vision and directives, is constantly promoting local talent, and supporting them to be successful, globally competent entrepreneurs who not only make the country proud but also strengthen its standing among global economies.”
Mr. Rashid Mahboob Al Qubaisi, CEO of Aafaq Islamic Finance, said “The SME sector is the driving force of any economy. We support the vision of our leadership and the government in empowering entrepreneurs and creating a conducive business environment. Our new program ‘Osool’, designed for Emirati SMEs is all about facilitating access to easy and flexible financing solutions for SMEs and entrepreneurs, thus helping them to take their business to new heights.”
Mr. Mahboob added: “The partnership between Aafaq Islamic Finance and Dubai SME will continue to lead to effective strategies and plans focused on innovation and creating a business environment where novel ideas are nurtured and transformed into successful projects capable of contributing towards the growth of our country and its economy.”
The focus of the ‘Osool’ program will be on helping Emirati SMEs and entrepreneurs to have competitive financing solutions that offer attractive profit rates, flexible payment plans, minimum documentation, and quick processing, and thus achieve stability in a volatile market scenario.
SMEs in Dubai today represent 99.2% of the total companies operating in the emirate and about 51% of the total workforce. Together, SMEs in Dubai also contribute 46% to the emirate’s GDP, thus supporting and promoting comprehensive development in various economic sectors. The SME sector in the emirate is also a key driver of the efforts to achieve a competitive knowledge economy in line with the UAE Vision 2021.
Globally too, SMEs represent the backbone of the economy and serve as a flexible tool for governments to achieve growth. The sector makes up about 90% of companies globally, and in some developed countries such as South Korea and Japan, their share reaches up to 99%. SMEs represent over 94% of all companies operating in the UAE, 73% of them being in the wholesale and retail sector, 16% in the services sector, and 11% in the industry sector, as per data from the Ministry of Economy.
The UAE Government seeks to continuously enhance business competitiveness in the country and introduce various programs and policies that contribute to maintaining the advanced position of the country globally.
Originally published on www.albawaba.com