By: Entrepreneur Middle East
The UAE’s business landscape has expanded tremendously over the last few years. From overseas firms eyeing Dubai as an ideal business hub, to a rise in the number of startups, the demand for quality products and services has increased bi-fold, making it an exciting time for entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get out there and distinguish themselves as pioneers in their fields.
Recently, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced a package of policies designed to boost the country’s economy. Among these, a proposal was approved to allocate 20% of government contracts to SMEs.
This policy, along with several others, is in line with the UAE Vision 2021, which states that by adopting new economic models and reforms, the country will benefit from a sustainable and diversified economy. To achieve this vision, the government has been extremely accommodating towards SMEs. The process of starting a new business has eased up considerably and a lot of incentives are being offered to the various startups in the country.
Despite these advances however, the process for most SMEs to access projects of adequate value from bigger firms is complicated. Often the registration or perusal requirements are rigorous- banks’ bid bond requirements are unrealistic, the paperwork involved is sometimes lengthy, and a handful of entities tend to ask work to be done free of charge or with drastic discounts for the sake of “exposure.” As a result, SMEs are dissuaded from applying all together, and they have no choice but to stick to the smaller projects, without seeing much growth overall.
As a former corporate head and now an entrepreneur sustaining my company in training and consulting, I have experienced both sides of the fence. It’s become a personal mission to help entrepreneurs sprout, grow, and sustain their SMEs in whatever capacity I can. Part of that is by talking them through the process hardships they might encounter, but mostly, it’s by advocating them as preferred providers to the government and corporate arenas. With that said, here are a few reasons to consider small businesses with specialized services for your next project, event, or initiative:
1. You get to be a part of the UAE government’s vision Supporting an SME makes you part in strengthening the UAE’s economy. By being a stakeholder in the UAE Vision 2021, companies can be sure to prosper and contribute around 40% to the total GDP value of Dubai's economy.
2. You get to take advantage of unmatched passion SMEs are comprised of a handful of dedicated individuals who do what they love, and love what they do. An entrepreneur’s drive is unmatched, meaning they will go above and beyond in order to provide the best service at a competitive price.
3. You get an experience that’s authentic and personal Small businesses are doing their best to stand out from the crowd. SMEs are more than happy to personalize your projects as per your needs, without the complicated process that might be present with bigger vendors.