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Dubai SME, Mashreq to aid top SMEs

Dubai, June 23, 2011

Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), has signed an agreement with top UAE financial institution Mashreq to offer benefits to the top 100 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Dubai SME100 is a major milestone and I am glad that a valued partner like Mashreq is partnering Dubai SME to offer benefits to the top 100 companies,” said Abdul Baset, chief executive officer of Dubai SME.

“I am confident that as the Dubai SME100 initiative grows in strength, more benefits will be added,   which will only benefit the development of our SMEs,” he added.

Douglas Beckett, head of Retail Banking Group, Mashreq, said: “For Mashreq, the SME segment is a key focus area as it constitutes an important and growing part of the economy. We have been actively involved in fostering entrepreneurship through our support of the Dubai SME’s Young Business Leader Award as well as the Young Arab Leader Award.”

“Our partnership with Dubai SME100 is yet another example of Mashreq demonstrating its commitment to the success and growth of this sector. With its successful track record of over 40 years in the banking landscape, Mashreq will continue to play a major role in empowering business owners and offering them tailor-made banking solution,” he added.

Dubai SME100 companies will be able to access Mashreq’s value-added business account packages with a host of privileges including enhanced debit card, online banking and preferred branch/ SME Centre access.

These include a discounted tariff on remittances and account services, and access to dedicated and experienced Relationship Manager. Mashreq also provides access to diverse financing options – business loans with no collateral, trade and working capital facilities, and overdrafts for merchants against POS receivables.

The Dubai SME 100 ranking will act as a platform and catalyst to identify promising SMEs – to groom them to become bigger, better and sustainable enterprises; eventually graduating them to large globally-oriented companies.

Unlike other rankings which are based mainly or purely on financial indicators, the Dubai SME 100 ranking places a balanced emphasis on financial and non-financial dimensions of enterprise performance and development.

The non-financial dimensions cover innovation, international orientation, human capital development and corporate excellence.  The ranking will also serve as a tool for helping SMEs identify capability gaps for improvement.

The basic criterion is that the applicant must be an SME based on the official definition of Dubai’s SMEs, with up to 250 employees and a turnover of up to Dh250 million ($68 million).

In addition, it must have audited financial statements for at least three years, and be an independent entity registered in Dubai (under DED or any Free Zone).

Over 830 eligible SMEs have been nominated by banks, business councils and Free Zones to participate in the initiative, with more nominations expected in the next few weeks.

The first ever Dubai SME100 ranking list will be out in late October. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Mashreq | Small and Medium Enterprises | Ranking | Dubai SME |

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