Khalifa Fund Partners with Etisalat and Microsoft to support the digital transformation of Abu Dhabi SMEs

Etisalat and Microsoft become the next industry leading organisations to join Khalifa Fund's e-Empower programme


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development has announced that Etisalat and Microsoft will be the latest industry leading organisations to come onboard with their e-Empower programme. The programme aims to provide the Emirate’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with innovative resources, such as webinars, workshops, preferential rates and digital support.

Etisalat and Microsoft will jointly provide entrepreneurs with a digital academy that offers a wide array of informative videos, webinars and talk shows that will help Abu Dhabi SMEs entrepreneurs to enhance their digital capacity and improve their online business models. As part of the ground-breaking partnership, Etisalat will also give registered e-Empower SMEs access to their ‘Hello Business Hub’ platform. The Hub will provide the entrepreneurs with exclusive trade license offers to legitimise their presence in Abu Dhabi and allow entrepreneurs to open zero balance business accounts with their partner RAKBANK.

Microsoft will host an array of tailored digital webinars, including of bi-weekly awareness services, advisory sessions and online training, as well as preferential rates for Microsoft 0365 and digital support for sellers. 

His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Chairman of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, stated: “Khalifa Fund continue to remain dedicated towards optimally equipping Abu Dhabi SMEs with the required knowledge, insights and resources to digitally transform and becoming highly efficient e-commerce enterprises. The new strategic partnership between Khalifa Fund, Etisalat and Microsoft is another cohesive effort between industry leaders to further enhance Abu Dhabi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

We are confident that, together with Etisalat and Microsoft, we will provide e-Empower entrepreneurs with a wide array of diverse resources which will enable them to take their businesses to the next level in the digital space”.

His Excellency added: "The addition of Etisalat and Microsoft will further establish e-Empower as one of the most sought-after and imperative programs for entrepreneurs in Abu Dhabi. As well as a wealth of knowledge from industry experts, Abu Dhabi SMEs who register with e-Empower can expect exclusive trade licenses, digital support and a variety of preferential rates with Etisalat and Microsoft.”

Hatem Dowidar, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Group, said: “Small and medium enterprises are key to innovation and job creation and are undoubtedly the engine of growth of the country’s economy. Thanks to the immense efforts of the UAE leadership, the country today leads globally in entrepreneurship by enhancing the competitiveness of the business environment with the introduction of various programmes and policies conducive to SMEs.

“Today’s strategic partnership with Khalifa Fund is in line with this vision and is a testimony to our commitment to the sector, giving us an opportunity to further cater to their requirements and helping them grow their business by enabling them in their digital journey. We are proud to be part of the e-Empower programme and look forward to working with the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to take the country to new heights in the next decade.”

Sayed Hashish, General Manager of Microsoft UAE, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Khalifa Fund and Etisalat on this important mission to attract higher calibre businesses and talent to Abu Dhabi. Initiatives like this, driven jointly by the public and private sector, and focused on education and infrastructure, are meeting a real need in the entrepreneurial and SME community. I applaud the government’s inspiring vision and I am excited to see our collaboration take off and contribute further to Abu Dhabi’s vibrant startup and SME ecosystem.”  

Khalifa Fund’s e-Empower initiative currently has 1,200 applicants with online market places, featured across Amazon, and Askhaak. To learn more about e-Empower, or to sign up now, please visit

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