Impact Hub Dubai, in partnership with Dubai SME — the agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise sector — and the Hamdan Innovation Incubator, or HI2, have launched the first "Emirati LaunchPad”, a free, two-month programme that will equip UAE national entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and contacts required to launch a business idea and to begin trading anywhere in the world.
The first LaunchPad, which was oversubscribed, kicked off The Impact Hub Dubai, with over 50 aspiring Emiratis participating. It will conclude in December, with a second programme scheduled for the New Year.
The Emirati LaunchPad will offer the opportunity to incubate a business idea through workshops, mentoring, potential for funding and a creative space to work. They will also be able to interact with a global entrepreneur and innovator community of over 9,000 "Hubsters” in over 70 global locations, and gain inspiration and guidance in a unique programme designed especially for UAE nationals.
"Dubai SME is delighted to be a strategic partner in Emirati Launchpad as we see it as an initiative well-aligned to our strategy for nurturing entrepreneurial talent. At Dubai SME, we have incubated over 350 SMEs and with our Hamdan Innovation Incubator initiative, the entrepreneurial support system in Dubai has expanded further. The Emirati LaunchPad allows us to share our SME development resources with a wider community,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, chief executive officer of Dubai SME.
Aman Merchant, chief executive officer of Impact Hub Dubai, said: "The UAE offers great commercial opportunities and is a melting pot of entrepreneurism. Disruptive ideas can arise anywhere, and given the right environment, can grow rapidly into successful businesses. Our ambition is to not only help to realise the dreams of starting a business here in the UAE, but also to offer the chance to become international businesses in their own right, through our global network of Hubs in more than 75 locations around the world. We are delighted thus to announce this pioneering LaunchPad for Emirati entrepreneurs, the first of several initiatives that we are going to launch over the next few months that allows us to showcase our triad capability of part-campus, part-incubator and part-innovation lab under a single roof.”