The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector is an important driver of growth for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Consider the following facts from the UAE Ministry of Economy:
- There were over 350,000 MSMEs in the UAE by mid-2020
- MSMEs represent 94% of all companies operating in the UAE
- Over 86% of the UAE labor force are employed by MSMEs
The UAE believes that entrepreneurship plays a key role in unlocking human potential and have undertaken many steps to boost the growth of MSMEs.
The MSME sector in the UAE has shown a tremendous capacity to become more resilient amid global challenges. In fact, based on a recent MasterCard Borderless Payment Report, up to 44 % of SMEs in the UAE said business has been better, with 66% posting growth in online sales and 77% planning to tap into more international markets moving forward.
The journey for many entrepreneurs, however, is not entirely smooth sailing. In a 2018 study conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, 65% of the entrepreneurs interviewed cited banking as their biggest challenge in company setup in the UAE. This sentiment is also echoed in a focused group study conducted by IFZA where 50% of the respondents mentioned that business owners find it challenging to open a corporate bank account due to lengthy application processes, difficulty in compliance or lack of information.
Fortunately, IFZA Professional Partners will soon have access to dedicated services that will enable IFZA Free Zone companies to have quick and convenient financial services.
IFZA has entered into a partnership agreement with Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) to provide IFZA Free Zone companies with the benefits of more efficient opening of exclusive corporate accounts as well as personalised services through dedicated onsite CBD relationship managers.
To empower the global ambitions of Licensees, IFZA will also launch a uniquely designed digital banking solution that will facilitate cross-border payments quickly and seamlessly. This will be of great benefit to ecommerce businesses, an industry that is forecast to grow to more than $8 billion by 2025 in the UAE alone, according to a report by Euromonitor International.
These services are part of the growing IFZA ecosystem that supports and enables IFZA Free Zone Companies to take advantage of global opportunities that Dubai offers them.