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How the DED UAE Supports SMEs and Startups: Programs, Funding, and Resources

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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups have played a critical role in driving the growth and diversification of the UAE economy. To support and promote their growth, the Department of Economic Development (DED) has implemented a range of programs (National SME Programme, The UAE SME Council, and Operation 300bn), funding opportunities, and resources including business incubators and accelerators. These initiatives provide valuable support and guidance to SMEs and startups in the UAE, helping them to thrive in a competitive business landscape.

How the DED UAE Supports SMEs and Startup

Business Incubators and Accelerators

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in the UAE understands the critical role played by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups in driving economic growth and diversification. To support and promote the growth of these entities, the DED has set up various business incubators and accelerators across the UAE. These programs offer a wide range of valuable services such as mentorship, networking opportunities, access to office space, and resources like market research and industry insights. Some noteworthy business incubators and accelerators in the UAE include Dubai SME, in5, and AREA 2071.

Funding and Financial Support

The Department of Economic Development is dedicated to providing financial support to startups and SMEs to help them overcome financial hurdles. They offer a range of funding initiatives, including direct funding through government-backed funds like the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF). The DED also helps connect businesses with venture capitalists and angel investors, and works in partnership with banks to provide specialized financial products and services tailored to the unique needs of SMEs and startups. Their commitment to supporting the growth and success of startups and SMEs in the UAE is truly commendable.



Training and Skill Development Programs

UAE Government places great importance on supporting the growth and success of SMEs and startups. To reach this goal, they offer various training and skill development programs to entrepreneurs and their employees. These programs equip individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge including leadership, management, sales, marketing, and innovation, and etc.

Licensing and Regulatory Support

For startups and SMEs in  UAE, navigating the regulatory landscape can be a daunting task. The DED recognizes this challenge and has developed a simplified licensing process to help businesses get up and running more quickly. Additionally, they work tirelessly to ensure that regulations are business-friendly and promote growth and innovation.


Networking and Collaboration Opportunities

Establishing a strong network is vital for the success of businesses, particularly SMEs and startups. DED recognizes this and offers various opportunities for entrepreneurs to network with their peers, potential partners, and investors through conferences, events, and exhibitions. Participating in such events allows SMEs and startups to exhibit their products and services and enhance their visibility and credibility in the market.


DED is an invaluable asset for SMEs and startups in UAE, providing a wide range of programs and initiatives to support their growth and development. From funding opportunities to training and networking events, entrepreneurs can leverage these resources to overcome challenges and achieve success. Find out the cost of a Dubai mainland license with our cost calculator or contact us.

How Can We Help

Choose UAE is dedicated to helping SMEs and startups thrive in the UAE by offering tailored business setup solutions, expert consultation, branding and digital services, networking opportunities, and ongoing support. Our team of experienced professionals works closely with you to navigate the complexities of setting up and growing your business, ensuring you have the resources and expertise needed at every stage of your journey. Partner with Choose UAE to benefit from our award-winning support and take your business to new heights. Contact us today to get started on the path to success in the UAE.

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