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District 2020 partners with Dubai SME and MBRIF to support start-ups

The latest announcement is part of District 2020’s mission to stimulate lasting economic benefits and industry growth in the UAE.

Dubai SME and the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) will further support start-ups and small businesses in the UAE via partnerships with District 2020’s global entrepreneur programme, Scale2Dubai.

In line with Dubai and the UAE’s proactive approach to supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the important role they play in the country’s resilient economy, the strategic partnerships will provide Scale2Dubai with a pipeline of high-potential start-ups and small businesses.

Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Pavilions and Exhibitions Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “These milestone agreements with Dubai SME and MBRIF will further bolster the continued growth of the UAE’s start-up ecosystem and contribute to a stronger and resurgent economic environment.Expo 2020 Dubai✔@expo2020dubai

We’re proud to announce that District 2020 has partnered with @Dubai_SME and the @MBRIFund to support its Scale2Dubai programme. Scale2Dubai helps start-ups and small businesses establish and grow in #District2020:  #Expo2020 #Dubai #MSMEsDay2020

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“The advance towards a more connected future continues to gain pace, and new opportunities will emerge from the current set of global challenges that SMEs and start-ups currently face. Through the combined efforts of partnerships with both these organisations, Scale2Dubai and our wider District 2020 ecosystem support a crucial sector of the UAE economy and complement other accelerators and incubators around the country.”

Expo 2020, which will run from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, will showcase the best examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world and help reinvigorate the global economy as it gathers some of the greatest minds from around the world to seek solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time.

District 2020, with a mandate to support industry growth, will evolve over a nine-month transition period after the event ends, during which more than 80 per cent of Expo’s built environment will be repurposed. It will transition into a mixed-use community and innovation ecosystem that will contribute to Dubai’s position as a leading innovation hub. It will also carry forward Expo 2020’s mission of stimulating business opportunities and continue to support start-ups and SMEs that are integral to the UAE economy.

The new agreements mark an important step towards District 2020’s vision for a curated innovation ecosystem. The partnerships will enable start-ups and small businesses to be part of the Scale2Dubai programme and access the District 2020 platform from which they can expand locally and internationally, while also offering them the opportunity to connect with large enterprises and receive access to funding and other growth enablers.

“Since its launch in 2002, Dubai SME has launched several programmes and initiatives to support entrepreneurs and promote the innovation ecosystem in the UAE. As we are an institution dedicated to supporting the establishment and development of innovative start-ups, our vision closely aligns with that of District 2020,” Abdul Baset Al-Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, commented.

“We will work on qualifying innovative national projects from the members of our Hamdan Innovation Incubator as well as from the different countries participating in our ‘Innovation Attraction Programme,’ to strengthen District 2020 as a platform for start-ups to grow regionally and access international markets,” Al Janahi added

Scale2Dubai was launched in February 2020 and offers successful applicants a range of benefits such as two years’ free working space in District 2020, support in visa and business set-up, two years’ subsidised urban living and access to funding.

The Scale2Dubai programme builds on Expo 2020 Dubai’s aim to support the SME and start-up sector, a driver of the UAE economy. As of the end of March 2020, Expo 2020 had awarded more than Dh4.6 billion to SMEs.

This latest announcement is part of District 2020’s mission to stimulate lasting economic benefits and industry growth in the UAE. After Expo 2020 ends on March 31, 2022, District 2020 will evolve over a nine-month transition period, repurposing more than 80 per cent of Expo’s built environment.

Scale2Dubai is currently accepting expressions of interest in the programme through the District 2020 website.

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