ABU DHABI: Emirates Development Bank (EDB), the key financial engine of the UAE’s economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda, has announced a new lending feature that allows small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups to apply for loans of up to AED5 million directly through its Digital Banking App and receive approval or feedback within five days.
The service, in partnership with peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform "Beehive", is the first of its kind in the UAE, marking a major milestone to enhance access to finance for SMEs and further simplify the ease of doing business in the country.
The lending service will be available for UAE-based SMEs and startups operating in one of EDB’s five priority sectors, which are manufacturing, healthcare, food security, advanced technology, and infrastructure, and is available on various tenors of up to 60 months. Moreover, these can be availed through EDB’s Digital Banking App, powered by leading UAE-based fintech YAP, enabling SMEs and startups to kick-start their businesses, by providing a business bank account and an IBAN number within 48 hours and then offering a comprehensive range of fast, secure, and round-the-clock banking services.
Commenting on the partnership, Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB, said, "It is clear that swift access to finance is one of the biggest challenges that SMEs and startups face. Through EDB’s partnership with Beehive, our newly launched lending service will offer SMEs and startups quick and efficient access to loans of up to AED5 million through our digital banking app.
"SMEs play an important role in the UAE's vision in becoming a diversified economy and help shape the UAE as a global investment hub. We are continuously looking to collaborate with fintech companies and financial partners to ease the financing process for SMEs and allow for quick and easy access to the bank’s financial services. Our new initiative marks a major milestone for EDB and is in line with our new strategy, supporting small businesses that operate across our priority sectors," he added.
Craig Moore, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Beehive, commented, "Our partnership with EDB is key to increasing the accessibility of financing to SMEs, enabling growth and providing more opportunities. Combined with our market-leading products, this partnership aims to ease financial burden for business owners, facilitating inclusive economic prosperity for SMEs across the UAE."
Masood Khan, YAP UAE CEO, stated that the service highlighted the evolution of bank lending. "Our partnership with EDB showcases how we are reimagining and modernising our business-lending proposition, providing new opportunities for SMEs and promoting profitable growth. By assisting the entire SME ecosystem and community, YAP and EDB are purely digital SME-lending players, focusing on customer needs, innovative product features and faster outcomes."