RIYADH: Small and medium enterprises in the UAE are on course to have improved access to financial services thanks to a new program launched by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
The SME Finance Facilitator program is initiated in partnership with the Emirates Classification Society, also known as TASNEEF, and with the support of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and leading banks, the Emirates News Agency reported.
The program is designed to facilitate the process of opening bank accounts and accessing credit facilities to support working capital needs and long-term growth.
The new initiative aligns with ADDED’s ongoing efforts to further elevate the business ecosystem for SMEs as a key driver of a diversified and sustainable economy.
“The SME Finance Facilitator program is a valuable addition to our initiatives as access to finance is a major challenge facing SMEs to grow and enhance their role in Abu Dhabi’s economy,” Executive Director of SMEs Sector at ADDED Mouza Obaid Al-Nasri said.
“We believe the program will provide a suitable solution to meet the financing needs of this vital sector, unleash its growth, and bring about extended ripple effects across various economic sectors,” Al-Nasri added.
The initiative comes as a result of research, analysis, and active engagements with SMEs, financial institutions, and other stakeholders to address challenges facing businesses.
The program will work on assigning facilitators to assist in understanding financial health checks and fostering trust between SMEs and banking institutions.
As a result, this is expected to lead to more transparent communication and collaborative credit assessment.
“The SME Finance Facilitator program holds a pivotal role in evaluating, preserving, and overseeing the quality of services offered by Finance Facilitator service providers,” General Manager at TASNEEF-RINA Business Assurance Khalfan Al-Saadi explained.
“TASNEEF’s involvement in this program is a testament to its unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of business ethics and regulatory compliance,” Al-Saadi added.
SMEs are one of the vital sectors in Abu Dhabi’s economy as they account for 98 percent of businesses, employ 46 percent of the workforce, and contribute 42.8 percent to its non-oil gross domestic product.