MBRF launches two programs to inspire new business and enterprise growth

WAM Dubai, Mar 19th, 2013 (WAM) — The Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund (MBRF) in Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has launched two programs for Emirati entrepreneurs with a Seed fund for early stage businesses and a Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) for growth-oriented SMEs.

MBRF has opened two funding windows to achieve the mandate of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to provide early stage seed capital interest free loans up to AED 250,000 to entrepreneurs implementing businesses resident in the business incubator on achievement of business milestones, and business loans and financial guarantees for projects in partnership with banks.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, commented: “The Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund will lead to a sea change in the UAE’s SME domain. It will inspire more Emiratis to take the entrepreneurial route and help SMEs learn how to evolve into reliable and sustainable enterprises. The end result will be a new perception on SMEs and more SME success stories.” The MBRF support windows are designed based on the various stages and needs of the entrepreneur. The Seed fund is to transform ideas into businesses by testing them in the marketplace. MBRF will form partnerships with banks to provide due diligence based on business plans as part of the Credit Guarantee Scheme.

“MBRF is a perfect fit in the evolving SME ecosystem Dubai SME has been developing since its inception. It is also founded on the same principle of stimulating business ideas and integrating best practices within the SME community to facilitate access to capital and markets, which forms the cornerstone of our initiatives such as Dubai SME100 ranking,” added Al Janahi.

Established as per Law No (11) of 2012, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund has the authority to give loans, provide financial guarantees or to contribute to projects of Emirati entrepreneurs. The law mandates MBRF to actively monitor the supported businesses. It will also seek financial and technical support for projects undertaken by community members or companies and institutions operating in the country.

The fund will catalyze the mandate of Dubai SME – provide financial support to develop entrepreneurship among the nationals by encouraging them to by establish and manage businesses, encouraging nationals to be self-employed by entering the private enterprise sector. The MBRF will also provide financial support to existing businesses of nationals helping the businesses grow.

The law mandates MBRF to work in close partnership with entrepreneurs receiving funding support to monitor performance and prepare reports of business progress.