Just Announced: 100% Ownership for Dubai Entrepreneurs

21 March 2018
The Emirate is always looking for ways to improve Dubai’s national and international standing. Now, The Dubai Entrepreneurs Academy (SME) has opened up opportunities for students and entrepreneurs to come up with novel ideas to drive forward business innovation. What’s more, 100% ownership is guaranteed through the new SME Business Incubator License.

Subject to Regulations

The announcement came via Incubators and Business Accelerators reforms. Previously, just 49% ownership was permitted but free zones permit 100%. That, say some of the top people in a range of industries, will soon attract investment.

Every submission will be subject to scrutiny to ensure legitimacy, practicality and that the idea is even possible. Dubai SME announced that the application was open to all entrepreneurs to apply online for an incubator licence, subject to the necessary checks. Industry experts and education professionals expect this new scheme will attract investment from inside and outside UAE, boosting the start-up economy in UAE further.


The Purpose of the Business Incubators

This is the latest in a long line of initiatives to encourage locally-grown talent and entrepreneurship.

Currently, 17 accelerator programmes exist including 12 incubators and 7 spaces for co-work in the UAE. This is according to MAGNiTT, a large website for start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors. The site tracks Mena entrepreneurship space developments.

The purpose of these incubators is the offer a wide and extensive range of services. We expect this to include:
  • Entrepreneurial workspace
  • More investment in project development advice and consultancy
  • Greater support for innovations implementation
  • Technology application for new product development

It will ensure the future of the Emirate as an attractive destination for start-ups. Analysts suggest SME contribution could grow to 45% of GDP by 2020, up from 40% in 2017.

12 Incubators to Help Entrepreneurial Growth

There are always challenges to starting a new business. To create an attractive environment for entrepreneurs involves creating an ecosystem to set up and even fail if necessary, not being put off by that failure but coming back stronger. This was the opinion of the CEO and founder of MAGNITT, Philip Bahoshy. A system of 100% ownership and government-funded incubators was a step in the right direction.

He had the backing of others including:
  • Research analysis organisation Gartner who highlighted the importance of incentives for acceleration of vendor investment from the UAE and beyond
  • IDC Cema who commented that the ease of starting and running an incubator in Dubai will lead to more incubators opening, particularly in the international market. This will be particularly good for ICT and eCommerce and mCommerce
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