Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Development Bank (EDB) has signed an agreement with Beehive, a UAE-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, to expand funding options for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
As an institutional investor, EDB has initially assigned 30 million dirhams ($8 million) funding via the Beehive platform to businesses that qualify. For its part, Beehive will facilitate business loans to creditworthy SMEs looking to expand operations or improve working capital.
The move follows EDB’s strategic pledge to lend up to 30 billion dirhams ($8 billion) to SMEs, start-ups and large corporates across five priority sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, infrastructure, food security and technology over the next five years.
The EDB strategy aims to help SMEs to access finance and grow their business, which should boost their contribution to UAE’s non-oil GDP to over 70 per cent by 2021, besides enhancing in-country value, productivity and employment.
Commenting on the partnership, Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB, said “The collaboration with Beehive is part of our mission to bridge the funding gap by offering SMEs greater and easier access to financial sources. Through our combined efforts, we look forward to strengthening the SME ecosystem and supporting the UAE’s goals to build a robust knowledge-based economy.”
Craig Moore, Founder and CEO of Beehive, said “The addition of institutional investors to Beehive will give SMEs more secure financing and better liquidity on the platform, which means that funding can be received faster too.”
The Beehive platform uses crowdfunding technology to connect SMEs looking for finance with investors, whilst earning attractive returns.
(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)
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© ZAWYA 2021