Dubai government turns to P2P financing for SME support

The Department of Economic Development’s SME unit is rallying the support of a peer-to-peer (P2P) financier to help entrepreneurs develop and grow their business through digital finance solutions.

Staying true to its goal of transforming Dubai into a Smart City and spurring digital entrepreneurship, Dubai SME has partnered with the emirate’s first (and only) regulated P2P finance platform, Beehive (which runs an Islamic window), to provide competitive financing to small and medium businesses in Dubai.

Beehive, according to Dubai SME’s CEO Abdul Basset Al Janahi, addresses the need for modern SME financing options that can compete with conventional channels and excel in terms of efficiency and cost.

“It’s an opportunity for UAE nationals who own SMEs to get accustomed to modern fintech and leverage the concepts of crowdfunding and P2P financing without depending on banks or other financial institutions,” Abdul explained.

The agreement with Beehive provides for a credit guarantee of up to AED500,000 (US$136,096) on SME financing for a period of up to 36 months with the financial arm of Dubai SME, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund (MBRF), acting as a guarantor.

Eligible SMEs, or project owners, would need to adhere to standards and controls set by the MBRF which will monitor the progress and commitment of borrowers by conducting field visits. Projects which receive a credit guarantee will be reviewed regularly.


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