Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, in co-operation with Etisalat and the Impact HUB Dubai, a global entrepreneurship community whose 11,000 members co-operate to share inspirational ideas and development opportunities (www.impacthub.ae), has launched ‘SME Hub Passport,’ a novel initiative to connect UAE entrepreneurs & SMEs to a global ecosystem of unique resources.
The programme will exclusively provide Dubai SME members and Etisalat Small & Medium Business (SMB) customers privileged access to the Impact Hub’s global network, with access to community, workspace and events in 25 cities worldwide today, and 50 in total by the end of 2015.
The programme is part of Dubai SME’s efforts to advance its entrepreneurship development initiatives and connect to a global pool of entrepreneurs in order to support SME projects and help entrepreneurs translate their ideas into successful businesses. The SME Hub Passport will also help entrepreneurs explore new markets while generating positive outcomes for the economy of Dubai and the UAE in general.
The agreement was signed by Yousuf Lootah, Senior Manager of the Hamdan Innovation Incubator in Dubai SME, and Aman Merchant, CEO and Co-Founder of the Impact Hub Dubai, in the presence of a number of senior officials from the three organisations.
“Through this novel initiative, we are trying to expand the Dubai SME member network and connect our members to a global platform to offer their products and services. We are pleased to co-operate with Etisalat and Impact HUB Dubai and we are confident it will make an impact in terms of developing entrepreneurship and generating innovative ideas, especially in inspiring youngsters and all entrepreneurs,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.
The SME Hub Passport™ is expected to attract start-ups and SMEs from the rest of the world to Dubai, while also enabling Dubai-based start-ups and SMEs to expand globally.
“This is an exclusive programme for Etisalat customers. We believe that most of our SMB customers will benefit from this unique global offer, which gives SMBs access to Impact Hub locations across the globe. This is another way we help SMBs grow their business,” stated John Lincoln, SVP SMB at Etisalat.
Located in Downtown Dubai, the Impact HUB Dubai – www.impacthub.ae – is a lab to accelerate entrepreneurial ideas and start-ups. ‘Hubsters’ benefit from an integrated ecosystem approach that connects an existing global Hub network of similar Hubs and entrepreneurs.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Dubai SME and Etisalat in launching the SME Hub Passport in the UAE. Whether its startups looking to connect with their peers and collaborate on projects, or SMEs looking to scale their ventures, they now have a super fast and cost-effective platform to grow their businesses – and truly leverage our global network of over 90 locations worldwide. As a home for possibilities, this gives UAE entrepreneurs an unrivalled opportunity – a ‘passport’ to globalize – by giving them an instant basecamp in any of these 25 cities,” said Aman Merchant, CEO & Co-Founder of Impact Hub Dubai.
Yousuf Lootah concluded the partnership will effectively contribute to sustainable and competitive business in Dubai and position the city firmly on the map of entrepreneurial networks as it prepares to host the Expo 2020.
“We are delighted to extend our members and the Etisalat SMB community this exclusive opportunity to grow fast and expand globally at the lowest possible cost. The SME Hub Passport™ will help exchange experiences and knowledge between SME networks across the world in addition to promoting communication between entrepreneurs and influential businessmen worldwide.”
To avail the SME Hub Passport™, Dubai SME members and Etisalat SMB customers should subscribe at Impact Hub Dubai via its website www.impacthub.ae. Packages are priced at AED 799 per month (1 year subscription paid in full, in advance), AED 249 paid quarterly or AED 99 paid monthly and will provide the following benefits across each of the 25 Impact Hubs as well as Impact Hub Dubai exclusively to Dubai SME & Etisalat SMB customers:
• 1 to 3 days free access per city per year for workspace, conducting business meetings and market research;
• Networking with the local community of entrepreneurs and SMEs;
• Preferred access to learning and social events for entrepreneurs and SMEs;
• 25% discount on use of meeting rooms at Impact Hub Dubai