Dubai SME unveils plans to foster entrepreneurial skills in 2021

Dubai SME unveils plans to foster entrepreneurial skills in 2021 

Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy (DEA) has launched a series of programmes for the first half of 2021 following on from its novel initiatives launched last year.

Source: Government of Dubai Media Office

Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy (DEA), the educational arm of Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has launched a series of programmes for the first half of 2021 following on from its novel initiatives launched last year, enabling small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and future entrepreneurs to successfully navigate and overcome unprecedented challenges.

As COVID-19 struck the Academy stepped up its efforts through a series of remote training programmes and online consultations to support aspiring entrepreneurs and enable business continuity among start-ups. Overall, 11,264 people were trained by DEA in 2020, a 70% increase compared to 2019, and 92% of them were satisfied with the programmes. The number of programmes also increased to 135 last year, compared to 124 in 2019.

For the next six months the Academy has charted out a series of programmes aimed to impart education and training on pursuing innovation and positioning start-ups for sustainable growth. A highlight of the calendar is a three-month ‘Certified Professional Entrepreneurship Diploma’ programme being launched in partnership with the  American University in Dubai (AUD).

DEA, along with the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) Sector in Dubai Economy, had also launched a Masters’ Programme in Intellectual Property Management and Innovation in partnership with AUD in 2020 to empower aspiring entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into sustainable business and attract more investment into such ventures.

The Academy will also continue to conduct varied programmes to identify entrepreneurial talent and  promote entrepreneurship as a career alternative among younger generations in partnership with higher educational institutions, ministry of education, ministry of human resources and Emiratization and Federal Youth Authority.

Saeed Matar Al Marri, Deputy CEO of Dubai SME, said: “The Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy continues to draw inspiration from the vision and directives of the wise leadership in providing an incubating environment for entrepreneurial talent and accelerating start-up growth. The Academy is also committed to providing a set of specialised knowledge and skills that meet the needs of the community and enable it to promote economic development in Dubai and enhance the emirate’s position as a vibrant business centre.”

Ibtihal Al Naji, Director of Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, added that the goal of DEA is to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the capabilities required to launch their projects and grow them in a way that shapes the future of business locally, regionally and internationally. 

“We have had a hectic year engaging with the start-up community and entrepreneurs despite the COVID-19 crisis,” she said. “The online consultations and training programmes we offered in 2021 marked a significant step in the digital transformation of the SME ecosystem in Dubai. Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy seeks to empower SMEs and consolidate smart practices for their advantage.”

The 2021 calendar of the Academy includes diverse programmes with focus on nurturing future entrepreneurs and equipping start-ups to identify opportunities in the new normal and foresee challenges. The training programmes scheduled for the first half of the year include:

  • Business optimisation in an uncertain world;

  • Reset: Adjust your strategy now for renewed future state (in partnership with Amity University);

  • Rethinking financial planning for SMEs (in partnership with PWC);

  • Innovation in the face of disruption: How to lead from the modern future;

  • Towards an Ideal supply chain management;

  • Customer service secrets in the survival market;

  • Strategic thinking & digital solution;

  • Flexible leadership & strategic foresight development tools.

The Academy will also offer a course in ‘The perfect funding pitch’ and continue its ‘Professional Certificate in Tender Management’ programme during the first half of 2021. The programme in tender management takes SME owners through the most important steps in managing tenders, preparing technical and financial presentations efficiently, and marketing their capabilities in addition to identifying the procurement procedures and contracts of government agencies.

DEA focuses on programmes specifically designed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs in the country, including citizens and residents, in addition to establishing innovative platforms that bring together business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs to share knowledge and best practices. The Academy has been able to contribute substantially towards creating a new generation of entrepreneurs and inspiring SMEs in Dubai to grow and participate actively in developing a stable and sustainable economy in the emirate.

Programmes conducted by the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy in 2020 included:

  • Training for entrepreneurs in the Northern Emirates in co-operation with the National Programme for Small and Medium Enterprises and Enterprises (remote training), to enable entrepreneurs to start and manage their projects

  • A 4-week Shadowing initiative allowing entrepreneurs to benefit from corporate experience in long-standing businesses, in addition to learning real-life business management experience from a successful businessman

  • The ‘Entrepreneurship in Crisis’ initiative (during the COVID-19 period), which included training programmes and advisory sessions to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, equip them to face the crisis and ensure the continuity of their projects

  • ‘Stay Strong’, an initiative (during the COVID-19 period) that saw distinguished speakers and international businesses sharing inspiring experiences and insights with entrepreneurs on overcoming the pandemic crisis

  • An ‘Entrepreneurs and the Challenge of Change’ online camp, which introduced trainees to the basics of entrepreneurship and innovation through practical workshops in the latest domains including artificial intelligence

  • ‘Unleash Your Entrepreneurship’ online training with Zayed University to introduce the youth to basics of entrepreneurship and the process of generating ideas

  • Summer Academy (remote)  to introduce youth to the basics of entrepreneurship and modern concepts in innovation, artificial intelligence and digital transformation

  • Medyaf Camp (online) to introduce the basics of entrepreneurship and the mechanism of generating ideas to enable the youth to launch their projects

  • Braiem Camp (online) to promote skills in agricultural production and investment towards creating a generation that loves the environment and contributes achieving food security in the UAE

  • Training (remote) for inmates of penal institutions in entrepreneurship and digital transformation

  • Entrepreneurship Path initiative (online) to promote the entrepreneurship culture among the participants

  • Retreat for students as part of the National Science and Technology Festival to refine their skills through a set of courses in innovation and entrepreneurship

For more information on the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy and its programmes, contact

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