Why the door is wide open to innovation for Dubai’s start-ups

Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) recently announced the launch of a venture capital (VC) fund worth AED500 million to finance technology startups to support their growth. The initiative reflects Dubai’s commitment to keeping pace with the world’s leading economies in the field of start-up investment, recognising the potential these companies hold for contributing to the growth, advancement and reinforcement of the national economy. 

Commenting on the announcement that the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) has launched a venture capital (VC) fund worth AED500 million to finance technology startups to support their growth, Valerie Konde, Co-Founder of UAE-born FinTech Pemo, a leading all-in-one spend management company, said:

“This is a pivotal move that will turbo-charge the growth of start-ups in Dubai and beyond. SMEs form the back-bone of the UAE’s economy, accounting for around 95% of all businesses in the Emirate.

And they are ambitious, with recent studies showing that 93% of business owners in the UAE have identified ‘expanding into new geographies’ as a key focus for growth. They therefore play a vital part in achieving the D33 goals to double the size of the economy by 2033.

“The pace of innovation, expertise and knowledge bubbling away within the minds of the business owners that run SMEs is second to none. Forward-thinking and game-changing ideas can transform the way we live and work – and so creating an ecosystem that funds this innovation is a transformational opportunity that raises the bar on what is possible.

“SMEs are often burdened with the challenges of lack of funding and access to capital to realise the potential of their ideas. Now, the parameters and the rules of the game have been changed.

“Dubai is becoming an example on fostering innovation. Its focus on technology, and the ease at which it enables business, will undoubtedly attract more SMEs to Dubai, and empower those in the initial stages to expand and to realise their ambitions. This is the entrepreneurial spirit of Dubai, it gets business, and it gets that SMEs play a vital role in creating a future sustainable economy.

“We applaud this new announcement, as by fuelling innovation it could also help create ‘unicorn’ companies that begin their journey right here in Dubai. As we move towards the future, and a knowledge-based economy, what’s for certain is that the time for SMEs is now.”