Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, has instructed Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, to set up a sub-fund to support UAE nationals developing mobile applications focused on facilitating people’s access to government services.
The ‘SeedApp’ fund is intended to support UAE nationals who develop user-friendly and commercially-driven mobile applications that would support the initiative announced recently by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to fully transform the UAE into a Mobile Government (m-government) from an e-government within two years.
Announcing the launch of the SeedApp, Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, said that the fund will encourage creativity among UAE citizens and their active participation in the nation’s vision to be one of the best in the world.
“Dubai SME and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund have been focusing on creating platforms for UAE nationals to deploy and advance their entrepreneurial skills and innovative spirit.
“Through the SeedApp fund we are inviting all nationals to join the nation’s complete evolution into a knowledge-driven and internationally best service environment,” added Al Janahi.
The SeedApp fund for mobile applications will provide 60 per cent of the cost of developing the application to each entrepreneur to develop, test the applications, and create a company resident in the Dubai SME business incubator.
Ease of use of the application and the value it adds to m-government and overall economic activity will be key eligibility criteria.
Accessing the grant is simple as applications can be submitted on the website www.mysme.ae with a small note on the application, its utility, and development milestones. Dubai SME has come up with an innovative way of selecting entrepreneurs to be supported - the public will be invited to vote for the application concept online. The website is already open for applications.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund established as per Law No (11) of 2012 aims to support Emirati entrepreneurs and SMEs and has the authority to give seed capital, business loans, and provide financial guarantees to contribute to projects of Emirati entrepreneurs.
“Unrestrained access to public services is a prerequisite for the heights of transparency, competitiveness and quality of living which the UAE seek to achieve. The UAE has the technology and infrastructure required for a successful Mobile Government initiative and Dubai SME believes SeedApp is a significant step towards integrating the human component to m-government,” Al Janahi said.
The m-government initiative aims at leveraging the UAE’s high mobile and internet penetration to bring the country’s position in e-governance on a par with international best practices by providing the public with 24|7 access to all federal and local government services anywhere through smart phones and other portable devices.