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Developing an innovative entrepreneurship is a national and strategic priority: Sheikh Hamdan

WAM Dubai, 8 Jan. 2013 (WAM) — Development of a vibrant Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) sector falls within the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to empower young entrepreneurs to sharpen their capacities and skills so to play a key role in the national development and build a stable, prosperous social life, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, said today.

He said support for the SMEs sector is in line with Sheikh Mohammed’s directives to promote the spirit and culture of entrepreneurship among UAE young businessmen so as to develop high-quality products that enable them penetrate into new export markets.

Commenting on the second Dubai SME 100, a premier ranking of Dubai’s 100 top performing SMEs, launched by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (Dubai SME), Sheikh Hamdan said the SMEs sector constitutes 95% of registered businesses in Dubai, contributes 40% to Dubai’s GDP and accounts for 42% of the total workforce.

He added development of the entrepreneurship sector has become a national priority and strategy for Dubai economy.

Dubai SME 100 was launched to identify promising SMEs and act as a platform and catalyst for them to become bigger, better and sustainable enterprises; eventually graduating them to large globally-oriented companies. The ranked SMEs resemble an attractive investment pool for investors. The combined turn-over of the top 100 SMEs is estimated at AED 2.3 billion, their total assets worth AED 1.4 billion, and net profit standing at AED 220 million. The top 100 SMEs also represent a combined workforce of 4,319 people.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai SME, said the second SME 100 for 2013 would built on the remarkable results of the first round to extend broader support for top performers to assist them sharpen their competitive and entrepreneurial edge in local and international markets.

”We will pursue our efforts to broaden the SME base to enable them float their shares in secondary local stock markets, therefore attracting more feasible investment, creating transparent business environment and raising awareness about corporate governance and best practices,” he stressed.

The Dubai SME 100 seeks to identify Dubai’s top SMEs that are role models the Emirate can be proud of. More than just a ranking, the objective of Dubai SME 100 is to inspire willing and able SMEs that have the potential to be world-class enterprises – to invest in innovation and people – to sustain growth. The ranking will also serve as a tool for helping SMEs identify capability gaps for improvement, and attract attention of investors which is the real value add of the Dubai SME 100.

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 that affect 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. This is the real value add of Dubai SME 100.

The basic criterion is that the applicant must be an SME based on the official definition of Dubai’s SMEs. In addition, it must have at least 3 years audited financial statements, and be an independent entity registered in the UAE WAM/TF