Khalifa Fund launches support project to accelerate innovation for SMEs and startups in Abu Dhabi

Khalifa Fund launches support project to accelerate innovation for SMEs and startups in Abu Dhabi 

The programme will offer high-quality and specialist business support.

Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development has officially launched its ‘Level Up’ project, helping entrepreneurs, SMEs and startups, seize new opportunities that will stabilise, strengthen and scale up their business. The tailor-made programme will focus on elevating priority sectors in Abu Dhabi, by accelerating the development of home-grown ventures, creating sector jobs and driving forward UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based economy.

Providing the most effective tools and resources, the programme aims to equip up to 10 successful SMEs and startups with high-quality and specialist support to sustain the growth of their business. Complete with bespoke learning, networking events, group training and mentor sessions, participants will connect with industry specialists, potential investors, buyers and partners, to help reinvent their business model and take their worthy ideas to the next level.

Through ‘Level Up’, Khalifa Fund is enabling more small businesses to make bigger contributions towards post-pandemic economic revival, bridging the gap between early-stage entrepreneurs and more established companies, to enable the exchange of expertise and attract further investment. As a key enabler of the programme and in line with the UAE’s 2071 vision, Khalifa Fund is actively committed to helping fulfil the nation’s needs and instil a culture of positive change for SMEs and startups, with sustainable development for future generations.

As the world moves to a greener future, Khalifa Fund is guiding entrepreneurs, SMEs and startups in taking further steps towards climate action with practical advice and more sustainable growth strategies. The aim is to encourage businesses to curb emissions and become better positioned in adapting to environmental risks, thereby increasing their business resilience and competitiveness globally.



Mouza Al Nasri, Acting CEO of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, stated “Entrepreneurs, SMEs and startups play a fundamental role in contributing to our economy. That is why we are positioning them at the heart of this programme designed to provide seamless access to new markets, technologies and expertise. The success of this project will help in strengthening the growth potential for post-COVID-19 recovery with the aim of turning Abu Dhabi and the UAE into a greater powerhouse of creativity and innovation."

“We are keen to have more small and medium-sized businesses joining us, as we aim to boost their forward-looking capacity, resilience and responsiveness, rebuilding from the pandemic in a way that bolsters competitiveness and helps empower them with more opportunities to go green amid the global climate change crisis.”

‘Level Up’ is scheduled to operate in consecutive stages, each lasting from 2 to 4.5 months according to specialised sectors, starting with agriculture. The general format will include two months of learning and mentorship, a forum and demo day, plus two meetup events. Other sectors to be covered include finance, ICT, health services, biopharma, Agricultural Technology (AgTech), tourism and real estate. The programme aims to contribute to the growth and innovation of each sector in the UAE.

The first stage of the programme, ‘Reimaging the Future of Agriculture and Food’ will run from 1 October to 6 December 2021, aiming to contribute to the National Food Security Strategy 2051 by accelerating the development of resilient and sustainable agricultural practices. Through the emergence of innovative and modern solutions, this part of the programme will play a crucial role in increasing productivity, protecting ecosystems, enhancing local production, reducing waste in the agriculture sector, improving nutrition and creating potential partnerships to diversify food sources in the country.

Mouza Al Nasri added “At the Khalifa Fund, we remain flexible and agile in providing the right support for small businesses amid changing circumstances and evolving needs of the marketplace. We remain proactive in readjusting our support processes to meet the evolution of challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. By driving prosperity, our work will help contribute to the nation’s stability, as well as increase the UAE’s influence globally.”

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