Support for Yemen SMEs upscaled under BRAVE program

Ayman Sejiny, CEO of ICD, center, witnesses the signing ceremony of the implementation agreements for the scale-up of the BRAVE program in Yemen. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 02 January 2019

Support for Yemen SMEs upscaled under BRAVE program

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) recently witnessed the signing ceremony of the implementation agreements for the scale-up of the BRAVE program in Yemen. The Business Resilience Assistance for Value-adding Enterprises (BRAVE) project aims to enhance the resilience of SMEs in Yemen in vital sectors against the impact of the ongoing conflict. 

The positive results of the first phase (2017-2018) included sustaining existing jobs, creating new ones and restoring trust links across the value chains and financial sector. This progress encouraged development partners IsDB, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and the Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS) to launch the second phase of BRAVE. 

Dr. Mansur Muhtar, vice president of sector operations, commended the progress made by the BRAVE project in providing livelihood support to Yemen by unleashing the private sector’s role in maintaining business resilience. Muhtar also highlighted the unique partnership model between the international donors, IsDB Group and the leading developmental and financial institutions of Yemen. Having raised $9 million in grants from the transition fund and another $32.24 million from the Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-FI), the BRAVE model is in line with the P5P program of changing the IsDB Group into a bank of developers for development. 

Ayman Sejiny, CEO of ICD, said: “The ICD will expand its support to this innovative program providing technical oversight and resource mobilization for SMEPS and our partner banks in Yemen. We are also working with our partners to adapt and adopt the BRAVE model to other comparable contexts where SMEs are in need of business resilience support to cope with business environment challenges. These interventions are also leveraging the established network partner banks of ICD in our member countries.” 

Wesam Qaid, executive director of SMEPS, said: “The project has helped support SMEs to sustain more than 15,000 jobs and create around 1,000 additional direct jobs in the vital sectors of health, agribusiness, food processing and fisheries as a result of immediate improvement in the firms’ performance. More impact is expected in the upcoming scaling of the project across gender and value chain dimensions under the new wave of funding facilitated from IsDB Group.” 

SMEPS was first established in Yemen in 2005 and it is a subsidiary of the Social Fund for Development in Yemen (SFD).

SMEPS aims to create more jobs, expand its beneficiaries and focus mainly on developmental projects, linking them to humanitarian work. It aims to achieve its goals by pursuing “creative strategies for micro, small and medium enterprises of diversity and growth through the market-oriented approach.”


UAE’s Al-Hamra announces
relief package for partners

Updated 02 April 2020

UAE’s Al-Hamra announces
relief package for partners

Al-Hamra, a real estate developer, services provider and investment company in the northern emirates, has created an economic relief package, which includes several initiatives to help ease the financial burden of its mall tenants, freehold owners, residents and customers, impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The announcement is in line with the UAE government and Ras Al-Khaimah’s objectives to support the economic environment and boost financial stability. The initiatives include up to three months of rental relief, reduction in cooling consumption charges, deferral of fees, waiver of payment delay penalties and payment due date extensions.

Dedicated teams have been deployed to assess specific requirements of various businesses and individuals to provide economic relief and support. The tasked force is also reassessing cost-effectiveness of operations in order to pass on the benefit to the end users and customers.

HIGHLIGHT

The initiatives include up to three months of rental relief, reduction in cooling consumption charges, deferral of fees, waiver of payment delay penalties and payment due date extensions.

Benoy Kurien, group CEO of Al-Hamra, said: “We have been proud partners in shaping the real estate landscape of Ras Al-Khaimah and this pride comes with a responsibility to the emirate as well as to our partners and consumers who have contributed to our success. This pandemic is reshaping the way we think about community and has made one thing strikingly clear: Our interdependence. We are working closely with our stakeholders to ensure that we recover from this period together, stronger and more resilient.

“We understand the predicament faced by all and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on our economy. During these unprecedented times, we are more committed than ever to stand firmly by our valued partners and customers. Our initiatives aim to support business continuity by offsetting some of the impact, and to promote the welfare of the community. Our dedicated teams will reach out to our partners in the following days to understand and discuss their requirements and implement effective measures. We will continue to support the government, our customers and partners in all ways possible to overcome this challenging situation together.”

Al-Hamra has diversified interests in retail, residential and hospitality in Ras Al-Khaimah and owns iconic assets such as the award-winning master planned community of Al-Hamra Village, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al-Khaimah, Ritz Carlton Al-Hamra Beach, Manar and Al-Hamra Malls. The group is focused on providing premier lifestyle real estate developments, while investing in hospitality and leisure segments.