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Dubai Small and Medium Enterprises (Dubai SME) – United Arab Emirates – Benchmarking Project – 2019

Dubai SME’s benchmarking team was awarded TRADE Benchmarking Proficiency with Commendation (7 Stars) by the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) and Centre for Organizational Excellence Research (COER). This chapter describes the benchmarking team’s project and achievements for each stage of the TRADE Methodology.

Established in 2002, Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (Dubai SME) is an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai, that aims to foster an entrepreneurial culture and develop a competitive SME sector for the Emirate of Dubai. The key strategies adopted by Dubai SME are to advocate a pro-business environment for developing entrepreneurship and SMEs, seed innovative start-ups, and groom promising SMEs. Dubai SMEs vision is to make Dubai the center for innovative SMEs to start, grow and expand their businesses, thus adding greater value to the economy of Dubai.

According to the Dubai Statistics Center database, SMEs represent 99% of the total number of companies operating in the Emirate, employing 51% of the workforce, and contributing around 47% of the GDP. Dubai SME supports entrepreneurs in all phases of development, right from their foundation upwards. The main services of Dubai SME include business guidance, business start-up (exemptions on trade licenses fees), business incubation services, training (through the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy), funding, and market access (through the government procurement program).