Meta announces new initiative to upskill UAE startups and SMBs

Meta announces new initiative to upskill UAE startups and SMBs


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Meta, in collaboration with The Entrepreneurial Nation, has launched the ‘Boost with Facebook’ initiative to support and attract startups and small and medium-sized companies (SMBs) across the UAE.

The Ministry of Economy’s Entrepreneurial Nation project intends to provide support to startups through a series of public-private partnerships that will help entrepreneurs  establish and expand their businesses in the UAE, as well as export their products and tap into digital marketing and sales.

By 2031, the UAE hopes to have 20 Unicorns or firms worth more than $1bn. The programme encompasses three stages or tracks – the Skill-Up Academy, the Scale-Up programme and the Startup track.

Dr Hassan Alsayegh, director of SMEs Development at the Ministry of Economy, said, “The partnership with Meta is in line with our vision to create a support mechanism for the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Meta is a key enabler of SMEs in the UAE, and we look forward to continuing this strong partnership to empower the sector.”

By joining the initiative, Meta is helping with the digitisation of the UAE’s business community and supporting the government.

The ‘Boost with Facebook’ initiative recently kicked off with a virtual workshop. The session offered training to SMBs on how they can activate their social commerce activities on Meta platforms such as how to create a virtual storefront with shops, reach the right audience with personalised ads, and creative tips to boost profiles on Instagram, among others. Towards the end of the session, SMBs were given an opportunity to connect with Meta experts as part of a live Q&A and seek advice on how to navigate today’s digital-first world.

Azzam Alameddin, public policy director for Middle East, North Africa and Turkey at Meta, commented, “We have an important role to play, providing the necessary digital skills for startups and small businesses to recover and achieve results online. We are continuing those training efforts in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy, helping further boost a burgeoning startup ecosystem to positively impact socio-economic growth in the UAE.”

SMBs are the backbone of the UAE economy with around 350,000 operating in the country, accounting for 86 per cent of the labour force in the private sector and making up over 60 per cent of GDP, according to TDRA.

Meanwhile, the UAE has also adopted a wide array of measures to create a more attractive environment for foreign investment, including revamped visa and residency system and 100 per cent foreign ownership and updating numerous laws and launching new initiatives.


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