Over 2,000 industry leaders and entrepreneurs from across the region to convene at SME Beyond Borders Dubai

  • SME Beyond Borders returns to Dubai on Thursday 27 October
  • The event is aligning with UAE strategy of bolstering SME sector
  • Disruptive business models to take centre stage at SME Beyond Borders
  • Venture capital and private equity firms will unite to promote SME funding

sme-beyond-borders-dubai-2016-logoDubai, UAE: Building on last year’s success, SME Beyond Borders returns to the UAE for its finest gathering. The interactive conference will take place in Dubai on Thursday 27 October 2016 at Atlantis, The Palm – hosted by CPI Business, co-curated by Etisalat and presented by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). With an exceptional speaker line-up, SME Beyond Borders 2016 is expected to attract over 2,000 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders from across the GCC and will offer something for everyone through a wide range of topics from SME funding, innovation, the role of social enterprises to gender equality in the workplace.

Commenting on their participation at SME Beyond Borders, Nilanjan Ray, Head of Commercial Banking at NBAD, said, “We believe in SMEs, which is why we continue to invest in them. They account for more than 60 per cent of the UAE’s GDP and are key drivers behind job creation and economic growth in the region. We are proud to have supported thousands of SMEs over the years, be it through funding or through the NBAD SME Academy skills building workshops.”

SME Beyond Borders aims to educate and inspire rising entrepreneurs–offering a platform to connect with investors through Etisalat’s Hello Business “Pitch Please!” – a unique opportunity for start-ups to give their best performance in front of an expert panel who will be assessing their business model through the strength of their pitch. What’s more, the winner will have an opportunity to pitch to an audience of 2,000 decision makers on the main venue stage.

“Platforms such as the SME Beyond Borders are a great way for us to meet new SMEs in an entrepreneurial environment, learn about their needs and share their feedback with our business in order to cater to them best,” Nilanjan Ray added.

Commenting on SME Beyond Borders, John Lincoln, Senior Vice President – Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) at Etisalat, said, “SME Beyond Borders 2016 is truly an innovative and first-of-its-kind platform that brings together a blend of local and international SMB innovators who are disrupting traditional business models. As co-curator and SMB Strategic Partner for this event, we have joined forces with our partners to support this sector by bringing beneficial content to drive incremental value for SMBs. Etisalat’s primary objective is to empower start-ups and SMBs with knowledge of global best practices that will help increase productivity and profitability.”

At the event, Steve Katsaros, Founder and Inventor, Nokero, and Peter Voogd, Founder of Game Changers, will share their key learnings as entrepreneurs who struggled and succeeded to get to where they are today. Attendees will also have the chance to: learn about social impact in business, at the ‘Meet the Transformers’ session; explore the topic innovation at the ‘Dubai a Global Agenda’ session; better understand ‘The Inclusive Agenda’ for women in the workplace, and more.

There are over 300,000 SMEs in the UAE alone and in alignment with the nation’s strategy to empower the private sector, SME Beyond Borders encourages entrepreneurs to capitalise on the current market environment and focus on high growth sectors. Investing in SMEs is at the top of the UAE’s socioeconomic agenda, based on which the Ministry of Education began to introduce entrepreneurship and innovation classes in universities. In May, Abu Dhabi set a target to double the size of its industrial base to 10 per cent of the GDP, as part of a broader strategy to increase the non-oil private sector’s share of GDP from 27 per cent to 40 per cent by 2030. More recently, Expo 2020 Dubai has also pledged to dedicate 20 per cent of its contracts – about AED5 billion – to local and international SMEs.

The exciting one-day event will start at 9am and will open its doors to investors, SMEs and entrepreneurs from across the region.

About SME Beyond Borders:

The SME Beyond Borders Series is an annual event that has grown to include more than 7000 registrations, 4000 attendees and 150 renowned speakers. Organised by CPI Business, mega-conference will bring together entrepreneurs, industry leaders and investors in a large-scale gathering on October 27 in Atlantis Hotel, the Palm. SME Beyond Borders 2016 is supported by Presenting Partner NBAD, Strategic SME Partner Etisalat, Property Partner of Choice Dubai Properties, Health and Wellness Partner BUPA, Freezone Partner Dubai South, Airline Partner Etihad Airways, Cloud Partner Alibaba Cloud, Corporate Governance Partner Hawkamah, Financial Advisory Partner Credence International, Serviced Office Partner One Business Centre, Legal Partner Clip, Hospitality Partner Media Rotana, Support Partner Lions Metal, Support Partner WOMENA, Support Partner Zawdeh, Support Partner Egyptian Steel, Support Partner Azur Blue, Support Partner Beyond Borders, Knowledge Partner Dtech, Media Partner Wamda and Broadcast Partner CNBC Arabia.