The Department of Government Support is focusing on mSMEs as Abu Dhabi’s backbone

The Department of Government Support is focusing on mSMEs as Abu Dhabi’s backbone 

By: Abu Dhabi SME Hub
Interviews

“The Department of Government Support aims to support [startups and mSMEs] with secondary business functions and general upskilling, so they can focus on their core value-added deliverables.” Waleed Saeed AlSaeedi, Executive Director Governmental Procurement Office shares the DGS perspective.

The Department of Government Support works closely with the government entities under its umbrella to implement initiatives and projects that fall within its main areas of competence, ensuring the fulfilment of its strategic objectives, priorities and core action plan, which can be summed up as follows:

  • Developing human capital through the development of an integrated, efficient, effective and competitively productive human resources system for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
  • Providing government services and solutions through the introduction of a specialized, proactive, integrated and secure digital government system, by adopting innovation, developing partnerships, instigating strategies, policies and standards, and upgrading the digital infrastructure to enhance the effectiveness of government performance.
  • Providing world-class training and professional development to all Abu Dhabi Government employees, based on international best practices in line with the priorities and requirements of Abu Dhabi.
  • Providing procurement services and solutions through the introduction of a reliable procurement system, providing the best value for cost, introducing integrated digital purchasing processes and supporting partnership-based procurement systems.

Some of the initiatives the DGS offers include: 

  • Allocating 15% of procurement spending and annual contracts to mSMEs
  • Suspension of Bid Bonds 
  • Bank Guarantee Exemption
  • Settling approved government invoices

 

 

Waleed Saeed AlSaeedi, Executive Director Governmental Procurement Office, explains that The Abu Dhabi government sees mSMEs as the backbone of the country’s economy, an engine for economic growth towards reduced unemployment rate, in addition to being key drivers in the country’s efforts towards sustainable development. 

In the past, mSMEs faced challenges accessing the government procurement system, and tenders were largely outsourced to larger and more established organizations. As a response to these challenges, the government committed to creating new opportunities for this segment of enterprises, encouraging emerging mSMEs to respond and deliver services within its procurement system. 

Starting 2020, the government of Abu Dhabi allocated 15% of government procurement spending and annual contracts to mSMEs, in line with its economic stimulus package. The new initiative aimed to provide procurement opportunities to a multitude of suppliers ranging from freelancers, early-stage startup, growth-stage startups and SMEs, and over the first quarter of 2021, the government already witnessed higher levels of government procurement by mSMEs than its initial allocation target of 15%.

Most startups and mSMEs also face challenges with appropriate internal resourcing such as administration, HR, accounting, finance, and beyond. In response to such challenges, and in coordination with ADGEs’ initiatives and efforts, the DGS aims to support these enterprises with secondary business functions and general upskilling, so they can focus on their core value-added deliverables, and notably through:

  • Building capacities and strategic, operational, and marketing capabilities;  
  • Encouraging productivity and competitiveness;
  • and stimulating enterprises to access government procurement.

The upcoming launch of a central Procurement Platform and procurement innovation hub will further avail opportunities for mSMEs. The platform will be used by the government to upload all available procurement opportunities; and in parallel, mSMEs will be able to register and get approval to respond to relevant procurement opportunities. The platform will also analyze and assess the needs of mSMEs on support they require in terms of upskilling so that they can seamlessly deliver their services.

Ultimately, by pushing mSMEs to innovate, opening new markets for national products, and enhancing their competitiveness locally and internationally, the DGS aims to drive the creation of new mSMEs their contribution to Abu Dhabi’s GDP.

 

AD SME Hub Report

Learn more about the diverse initiatives supporting SMEs in Abu Dhabi by exploring the Hub’s Interactive Ecosystem Map or by downloading the full Ecosystem Map Out Report.

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