Starting a business is no small undertaking. It can be exciting, challenging and ultimately rewarding but
it takes drive, ambition and tenacity to weather the peaks and troughs. Many appreciate the challenges facing a startup but as it grows into a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) business owners can face a diverse range of obstacles at every new phase of growth.
There are 400,000 SMEs in the UAE, contributing to 60% of the non-oil economy and 86% of the private sector workforcei.
This sector is critical to sustain a thriving economy and it is therefore important to understand
the ‘grassroots’ experience of the leaders and entrepreneurs within it.
Beehive, the UAE’s first peer to peer finance platform, was established with the purpose of serving SMEs and providing more accessible finance for them. As an SME ourselves we understand the challenges business owners can face but wanted to get a deeper insight into the experiences of other SME owners and also highlight the opportunities the region has to make this sector even stronger.
SMEs have opportunities that larger corporates may not. They’re flexible, nimble and usually unconfined
to hierarchy thereby enabling faster decisions.
This report outlines the mindset of some of the leading SMEs in the region, the limitations they face and suggestions for potential improvements.
We hope this report will serve as a starting point for a broader conversation about the SME sector in the UAE and beyond. We will look to continue engaging in this topic with our community and the industry to build a greater understanding which will help the UAE become an international SME hub.
We hope you find this report insightful and interesting.