Paolo Soro

Dubai SME launches ratings scheme for small firms

RATE SME to provide a health check of businesses and encourage greater productivity, Dubai SME CEO says.

Dubai SME on Tuesday launched a voluntary rating framework, named RATE SME, aimed at boosting the contribution of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to Dubai’s GDP from its current 40 per cent to 45 per cent by 2021.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the UAE would always be proactive in launching constructive initiatives and in implementing strategies that support entrepreneurs. He said that this would help bolster an environment that encourages the establishment, growth and sustainability of SMEs.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, said, “Dubai Government is committed to boosting SMEs by providing an attractive environment for these businesses due to the value added by Emirati and expatriate entrepreneurs to the SMEs sector to reinforce the desired partnership between various economic sectors.

“This will help increase the efficiency and sustainability of this sector adding to the level of operational efficiency and competitiveness of SMEs.”

At a press conference at Emirates Towers, the organisation, an agency of Dubai’s Department for Economic Development (DED), said the move could result in 40,000 new start-ups, create 370,000 new jobs and add Dh65 billion to Dubai’s economy.

SMEs scoring highly on the rating system would get lower interest rates in financing, and find it easier to get government contracts their rating would attract work, the conference heard. It would also help firms get export licences from the DED.

Firms with a turnover of between Dh1 million and Dh200 million would be eligible to opt in to the ratings system, and would be charged Dh5,000 each time they wanted to be rated,

Dubai SME CEO Abdul Baset Al Janahi said a firm’s financial performance would make up 50 per cent of a company’s rating. Firms would also be judged on innovation, corporate governance, international outlook and corporate social responsibility.

“This will give [SMEs] a health check of where they are when it comes to productivity,” Al Janahi said in an interview after the conference. “The more companies use tools like technology, they will be more productive. They will not be reliant on a specific way. This will open their horizon in terms of how to change their business model to be more productive.

“They will have a proper report as a health check of where they stand.”

Dubai SME said the rating scheme — an extension of the agency’s SME 100 scheme — received positive feedback from a trial of 16 companies.

SMEs make up 95 per cent of the companies registered in Dubai.

Source: Gulf News

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