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Entrepreneurship Strategic Framework

The National Agenda for Entrepreneurship and SMEs

The National Agenda for Entrepreneurship aims to establish the UAE to become the entrepreneurial nation by 2031. The National Agenda includes 29 initiatives aimed at enhancing the business environment and entrepreneurial mindset in the UAE, and an integrated package of incentives that will enable the country to increase the number of its startups to reach one million, incubating ten unicorn startups, and achieving a strong partnership between the public and private sectors.

4 Major Directives of the National Agenda for Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Strengthening the UAE’s status as a destination for global business and entrepreneurship

Enabling entrepreneurial
and SME projects to
achieve accelerated
​​​​​​​ growth

Encouraging SMEs and
the entrepreneurship
sector to innovate and
​​​​​​​ increase productivity

Enhancing the culture of entrepreneurship amongst different sectors of the society

7 Themes within the National Agenda for Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Themes within the National Agenda for Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Ease of doing business

Reviewing and developing legislation and policies to facilitate doing business

Innovation

Stimulating innovation in priority economic sectors

Business Support

Providing solutions to support SMEs and increasing their efficiency

Digital transformation

Building a supportive environment and developing incentives that support digital transformation

Funding

Providing various channels for financing start-ups and SMEs

Human capital

Encouraging various segments of society to enter the field of entrepreneurship

Increasing demand

Enable SMEs to access different markets

Growth of the SME Sector

Our Work Directives

Accelerating the Growth of the SME Sector

01

Constant review of business environment based on requirements of startups

02

Facilitating the process of establishing small and medium-sized enterprises in the UAE

03

Providing knowledge, inspiration for future generations to start own businesses

04

Supporting the productivity of SMEs and improving their performance

05

Giving priority to Emirati-owned companies in government contracts

06

Increasing the contribution of SMEs to the GDP

07

Attracting international technology startups

08

Accelerating the transformation of startups into public joint stock companies

Achievements in numbers...

Increase in Demand for Launching Pilot Projects

Efforts to spread the culture of entrepreneurship among the youth and university graduates of the UAE have begun to yield results as statistics indicate that university graduates of various nationalities who have established start-up companies increased to 43 percent. Startups established by graduates were based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The number of registered companies owned by nationals increased by 9.5 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, while the number of UAE graduates who established entrepreneurial projects increased by 54 percent over the past three years.

  • 9.5% Registered companies owned by UAE nationals
  • 43% University graduates of different nationalities who have established start-ups
  • 54% Percentage of Emirati graduates who have established entrepreneurial projects
Classification of companies

Micro, Small and Medium Companies

Image
Trade

Micro

Small

Medium

Total revenue
(AED million)

< 3

< 50

< 250

Or Number of
Employees

< 5

50 - 6

200 - 51

Image
Industry

Micro

Small

Medium

Total revenue
(AED million)

< 3

< 50

< 250

Or Number of
Employees

< 9

100-10

250-101

Image
Services

Micro

Small

Medium

Total revenue
(AED million)

< 3

< 50

< 200

Or Number of
Employees

< 5

50 - 6

200 - 51

Learn About

Classification of Small and Medium Enterprises

First, SMEs are classified into sectors according to the economic activities they engage in, namely, the trade sector, the industrial sector and the service sector. Then, the businesses affiliated with each sector are classified into three categories depending on their size: Micro, small and medium-sized companies. The company size is then determined according to the number of its employees and annual revenues.

Enterprises with less than 5 employees or annual revenues of less than AED 3 million are classified as micro-businesses, while companies with less than 50 employees or annual revenues of less than AED 50 million are classified under the category of small enterprises, while companies with less than 200 employees or annual revenues of less than AED 250 million are classified as medium-sized enterprises.

Industrial companies with less than 9 employees or annual revenues of less than AED 3 million are classified under the category of micro-manufacturing enterprises. Industrial enterprises with less than 100 employees or annual revenues of less than AED 50 million fall under the category of small industrial companies. Industrial enterprises with less than 250 employees or revenues of AED 250 million fall within the category of medium industrial companies. Service enterprises with less than 5 employees or annual revenues of less than AED 2 million are classified as micro-service companies, while enterprises with less than 50 employees or revenues less than AED 20 million are classified under small service companies. Enterprises with less than 200 employees or annual revenues of less than AED 200 million are classified as medium-sized service companies.

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