The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development has enhanced its membership program to boost entrepreneurship in the UAE.
As part of new measures, the Khalifa Fund will allow members to register an unlimited number of trade licenses as they wish to take advantage of various benefits offered by the Abu Dhabi government agency, including loans and other benefits.
Age-related restrictions have also been relaxed for entrepreneurs. Anyone 21 or older can join the Khalifa Fund, it said Friday.
Membership renewal for any business has also been extended from three times to seven times as part of new measures to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
“Khalifa Fund has improved its membership offerings with the aim of providing the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with more opportunities and fewer constraints to encourage enterprise development,” the fund said.
Khalifa Fund was established in 2007 with a total capital of Dh300 million ($81.68m) to support the development of small and medium enterprises in the country.
The fund’s capital was increased to Dh1 billion in 2008 and to Dh2bn in 2011. The fund provides loans and other services to SMEs to help them grow their businesses.
“At Khalifa Fund, we are constantly striving to identify new methods that will support the UAE’s entrepreneurial infrastructure and further enhance the ecosystem,” said CEO Alia Al Mazrouei.
“Our new membership program gives entrepreneurs the capacity to [gain access to] … innovative offerings, which will encourage the further development of companies.”
Entrepreneurs with trade licenses older than five years can also access various services offered by the fund, the fund said.
The UAE is focusing its efforts on supporting businesses while diversifying its economy away from oil.
The Arab world’s second-largest economy aims to be home to 20 unicorns, or start-ups worth more than $1 billion, by 2031, as part of a new initiative unveiled last year.
It is also setting up a Dh 1 billion private equity fund for loans to SMEs operating in strategic sectors in the country.
Khalifa Fund is also launching new initiatives to support SMEs in the country. Last year, it launched a new digital platform called the Abu Dhabi SME Hub to support small businesses in various stages of development.
It also partnered with Etisalat and Microsoft to help SMEs in the emirate with their digital transformation.
Updated: September 9, 2022, 10:39 AM