Feb 14, 2024

Emirates Development Bank underlines commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship and driving economic growth


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 4 February 2024: Emirates Development Bank (EDB), the key financial engine of economic development and industrial advancement in the UAE, underlined its strong commitment to supporting innovative entrepreneurs and empowering the SME sector, a critical component of the UAE's economy, at the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF) 2024.

Recognising that SMEs account for 94% of the UAE's private sector companies and contribute significantly to non-oil GDP, EDB offers a range of financial and non-financial solutions to fuel the growth and development of these vital enterprises.

Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB, delivered a keynote speech emphasizing the role of platforms like SEF to foster partnerships and promote an entrepreneurial mindset that builds the UAE’s SME sector into an innovative, technologically advanced, and competitive engine of economic growth. He pointed out that entrepreneurs and SMEs drive UAE’s economic growth, and when provided with the required capital, they promote innovative industries and foster economic competitiveness. He said: “The journey of entrepreneurship is a shared canvas, painted by the collective efforts of individuals, institutions, and communities. Our presence at SEF 2024 exemplifies our commitment to fostering an ecosystem where SMEs can thrive, innovate, and contribute to the UAE’s socio-economic progress. We believe that supporting entrepreneurship is fundamental to the nation's journey towards a diversified and resilient economy.” 

SEF 2024 provided a platform for the Bank to connect with entrepreneurs and showcase its bespoke programs. The Bank’ has non-financial services such as the EDB Business Lab, which serves as a hub for knowledge sharing, offering entrepreneurs access to expert guidance, training, and mentoring – enhancing their business acumen and financial literacy.

EDB’s innovative financing solutions, such as the Solar Energy Financing Program and the Agritech Loans Program, demonstrate EDB’s alignment with the UAE’s sustainability goals and its support for sectors driving the country’s transformation. Furthermore, through its Credit Guarantee Scheme in partnership with 12 commercial banks, EDB enhances the bankability and creditworthiness of SMEs, facilitating their access to capital and contributing to the nation’s economic diversification.

EDB’s booth at the festival attracted an impressive turnout of young entrepreneurs who wanted to learn more about the bank's financing solutions and services they can benefit from. These solutions are designed to empower SMEs in their efforts to innovate and succeed, ultimately contributing to the National Agenda for Entrepreneurship and SMEs which aims to establish the UAE as an entrepreneurial nation by 2031. 

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