Jan 28, 2024

Emirates Development Bank named Most Sustainable SME Bank at Annual Global Economics Awards


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 22 January 2024: Emirates Development Bank ("EDB" or "the Bank"), the key financial engine of UAE economic development and industrial advancement, has won the prestigious accolade of Most Sustainable SME Bank presented by the international platform, the Global Economics Awards.

The Global Economics Awards is an internationally recognised platform that acknowledges and celebrates excellence in various industries and sectors across the globe. The awards programme seeks to identify and honour companies that demonstrate exceptional dedication to client satisfaction, innovation, and sustainable growth.

Shaker Zainal, Chief Business Officer at Emirates Development Bank, said: “We are honoured to receive the Most Sustainable SME Bank award which is a great recognition of our tireless efforts in enabling SMEs and supporting the UAE’s sustainable economic growth. As a development bank we provide flexible and competitive financing for sustainable projects to reduce the cost of capital and incentivise investment in green transition projects. We offer financing solutions to businesses of all sizes but give special attention to SMEs to enhance their bankability and financial inclusion.

“In line with the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the momentum of hosting of COP28 in Dubai last year, EDB launched two sustainable financing programs dedicated to facilitating the use of advanced and sustainable agriculture technologies as well as helping SMEs switch to solar power and reduce their CO2 emissions. This reflects our commitment to innovating financing solutions to enable sectors and projects with higher economic impact and drive the UAE’s sustainable development agenda.”

SMEs are the bedrock of any economy and ensuring their alignment to sustainability goals is imperative. EDB fills critical lending gaps in the market and finances higher risk projects with higher development impact, prioritizing economic impact over profit.

The Bank has been leading the way in climate finance by enabling renewable energy and food security sectors through dedicated financing programs. In 2023, the bank launched the Agritech Loans Program providing finance of up to AED5 million with a long tenor of 10 years for farmers, local producers, technology providers, equipment suppliers, and those involved in the agriculture support ecosystem. This financing program drives the implementation of precision agriculture techniques, state-of-the-art irrigation systems and advanced crop monitoring tools, propelling the sector towards more sustainable practices and heightened productivity.

In addition, last year EDB added Renewables to its priority sectors for financing and announced it now offers up to 100% financing of a renewable project value and gives long tenors of up to 15 years. The bank also launched the first-of-its-kind Solar Energy Financing Program, allocating AED100 million to bolster the adoption of clean energy solutions and support businesses, especially SMEs, to shift their operations to solar power. This program, focusing on solar energy initiatives, provides medium- and long-term loans and working capital of up to AED5 million, especially directed at solar energy projects.

EDB offers a patient debt approach with long tenor financing and competitive pricing. With a focus on supporting the private sector, EDB encourages investments in five national agenda sectors – renewables, manufacturing, advanced technology, healthcare and food security. 

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