SHARJAH - Sharjah Media City (Shams) is expanding support for entrepreneurial ventures in the media sector and adding new financing opportunities to its portfolio that target innovative start-ups and SMEs and enable them to secure financing through a strategic partnership and guarantee scheme agreement with venture debt platform Funding Souq.
The agreement aims to provide innovative financing facilities for start-ups and SMEs through Funding Souq’s crowdfunding platform while Shams offers loan repayment guarantees.
Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City, said, "Securing funding remains among the most daunting challenges for start-ups to overcome at various stages of their development, and as part of our mission to build an environment that supports entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative thinkers in the media and creativity sector, Shams sought to set up new opportunities for our community of start-ups and SMEs to benefit from. The strategic partnership with Funding Souq will bring advanced solutions to this issue not only for our community, but also for innovative media companies from the wider ecosystem where we can see promising growth opportunities."
"Shams is committed to living up to the mission entrusted to us by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and to that end has set an ambitious vision to develop the business landscape that enables media start-ups to establish a thriving business community dedicated to transforming bold ideas into pioneering projects in the future," he added.
Martin Jaouni, Funding Souq CEO, said, "Funding Souq is thrilled to partner up with SHAMS and contribute to the prosperity of SMEs in the UAE. This partnership will allow Funding Souq to accelerate its support towards media and tech companies by offering quick and reliable business loans. I would like to thank Dr. Khalid Al Midfa and his team for initiating this partnership and recognising the need for better SME funding options."
Under the agreement, Shams will introduce businesses in need of loan facilities to Funding Souq, while the latter refers existing borrowers or potential ones to Shams, where the most promising ventures can be allowed to benefit from Shams’ various facilities.
The programme offers flexible financing schemes ranging from 3 to 24 months and has already registered its first beneficiary and success story with Pansoft – an IT solutions provider technology consulting firm catering to corporations and government clients alike.
Founded in 2020, Funding Souq operates a loan crowdfunding platform under authorisation from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which acts as an online marketplace where borrowers connect directly with lenders willing to provide them with loans between US$20,000 and US$150,000.