Meta, in partnership with The Entrepreneurial Nation, announced the launch of ‘Boost with Facebook’ programme for the first time in the UAE, to support the achievement of the initiative’s goal to attract and support startups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across the country.
The Entrepreneurial Nation, a project by the Ministry of Economy, aims to offer support through a series of public-private partnerships that help entrepreneurs set up their ventures in the UAE and expand them, export their products and tap into digital marketing and sales. Through the initiative, the UAE aims to become home to 20 Unicorns, or startups valued at more than $1 billion, by 2031. The programme encompasses three stages or tracks – the Skill-Up Academy, the Scale-Up programme and the Start-Up track.
Dr. Hassan Alsayegh, Director of SMEs Development at the Ministry of Economy, said, “The partnership with META is in line with our vision to create a support mechanism for the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. META is a key enabler of SMEs in the UAE, and we look forward to continuing this strong partnership to empower the sector.”
By joining the initiative, Meta is helping with the digitisation of the UAE’s business community and supporting the government in transforming the country as the Entrepreneurial Nation of the world.
The ‘Boost with Facebook’ initiative kicked off with a virtual workshop recently. The session offered training to SMBs on how they can activate their social commerce activities on Meta platforms, for instance, how to create a virtual Storefront with Shops; how to reach the right audience with Personalised Ads; and creative tips to boost profiles on Instagram, among others.
Those who attended the workshop got the chance to learn about The Entrepreneurial Nation initiative and draw inspiration from the success of other UAE small businesses namely Mamalu Kitchen and Project Chaiwala, who have effectively capitalised on the potential of Meta platforms to improve business performance. At the end of the session, SMBs were given an opportunity to connect with Meta experts as part of a live Q&A and seek advice on how to navigate today’s digital-first world.
Azzam Alameddin, Public Policy Director for Middle East, North Africa & Turkey at Meta, commented, “We are excited to be part of The Entrepreneurial Nation initiative through our ‘Boost with Facebook’ programme and upcoming opportunities this year. We have an important role to play, providing the necessary digital skills for startups and small businesses to recover and achieve results online. We are continuing those training efforts in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy, helping further boost a burgeoning start-up ecosystem to positively impact socio-economic growth in the UAE.”
SMBs are the backbone of the UAE economy. There are around 350,000 SMBs in the country, accounting for 86 percent of the labour force in the private sector and making up over 60 percent of GDP, according to TDRA. The government has introduced economic support packages to help business owners weather the COVID-19 pandemic. The UAE has also adopted a wide array of measures to create a more attractive environment for foreign investment including revamped visa and residency system,and 100 percent foreign ownership in addition to updating numerous laws and launching initiatives such as the Entrepreneurial Nation.