Dubai Chamber-led working group see the fruits of their labor as more banking solutions become available for startups

The working group on SME banking, led by the Dubai Chamber, has outlined key achievements such as the increased cooperation between the startup ecosystem and UAE banks, the surge of the number of fintech startups focused on SME banking, and the introduction of new licencing and banking solutions tailored to startup needs.

The partners of the working group are Smart Dubai, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), and a leading UAE bank. With the help of these partners, the group has developed a one-stop shop solution powered by blockchain technology which allows SMEs and startups to apply for business licences and open bank accounts.

RAK Bank and Mashreq Bank, two members of the group, have started to offer new digital solutions and services to startups. In the meantime, the Dubai fintech scene observed an uptick in the number of startups addressing SME banking challenges.

The last nine months were very successful for the country’s startup ecosystem, and the collaboration between the banks and entrepreneurs is one of the prime reasons behind that. For instance, Noor Bank helped 20 startups from the Dtec to open bank accounts, marking a year-over-year increase of 35 percent. The working group also pointed out a growing number of partnerships between UAE banks, accelerators and incubators. "The Ministry of Economy works very closely with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and all strategic partners in the UAE, to enhance the competitiveness of the SME, entrepreneurship and start-up sector for UAE nationals and foreign investors, in order to meet the economic strategy and UAE Vision 2021," said Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy.

Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "The proactive and collaborative approach taken by the working group in addressing the existing challenges faced by SMEs is the result of close cooperation between public and private sector players.”

According to Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Dubai Chamber is a vital player in fostering collaborations, with the aim to improve the ease of doing business and enhance competitiveness of Dubai SMEs. “Smart Dubai is committed to joining to empowering startups in the UAE. SMEs lead the way, in terms of creativity, and we consider them to be an essential partner in our mission to spearhead Dubai’s transformation into a full-fledged smart city of the future,” he said.

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