|21 July, 2019

Dubai Chamber-led working group provides banking solutions to innovative start-ups

Collaboration between UAE banks and the country’s start-up ecosystem has increased considerably over the last nine months.

DUBAI- New banking and licencing solutions tailored to the needs of start-ups, an uptick in the number of fintech start-ups specialising in SME banking and increased cooperation between UAE banks and the country’s start-up ecosystem, are among the key achievements outlined by the Dubai Chamber-led working group on SME banking.

The working group, in cooperation with Smart Dubai, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus, Dtec, and a leading UAE bank, has developed a new one-stop shop solution powered by blockchain technology, which enables start-ups and SMEs to apply for a business licence and open a bank account.

Following the establishment of the working group and the release of a white paper on SME banking challenges published by the Dubai Chamber in September 2018, two of its members, RAK Bank and Mashreq Bank, have begun offering new digital solutions and additional services designed specifically for start-ups. Meanwhile, an uptick has been observed in the number of fintech start-ups in Dubai addressing SME banking challenges, signalling stronger awareness over such issues.

Collaboration between UAE banks and the country’s start-up ecosystem has increased considerably over the last nine months. For example, Noor Bank assisted 20 start-ups from the Dtec in opening bank accounts during the same period, marking a year-over-year increase of 35 percent. In addition, the working group noted an increase in the number of partnerships between UAE banks, incubators and accelerators. "The Ministry of Economy works very closely with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and all strategic partners in the UAE, to enhance the competitiveness of the SME, entrepreneurship and start-up sector for UAE nationals and foreign investors, in order to meet the economic strategy and UAE Vision 2021," said Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "The proactive and collaborative approach taken by the working group in addressing the existing challenges faced by SMEs is the result of close cooperation between public and private sector players.

Dubai Chamber plays an active role in fostering such collaboration, with the aim of improving the ease of doing business and enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs in Dubai." Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General of Smart Dubai, added, "Smart Dubai is committed to joining all efforts to empowering start-ups in the UAE. SMEs lead the way, in terms of creativity, and we consider them to be an essential partner in our mission to spearhead Dubai’s transformation into a full-fledged smart city of the future." The working group on the SME banking group was among the key recommendations outlined by a recent study conducted by the Dubai Chamber, in coordination with the UAE Ministry of Economy and the UAE’s Council of SMEs and global consultancy firm Roland Berger.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2019.

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