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14 July 2024

Under phase II of The Entrepreneurial Nation Program

The Ministry of Economy and Cisco collaborate to launch digitization initiative for Small and Medium Enterprises

By E247
Al Saleh: “Partnerships under The Entrepreneurial Nation Program create new opportunities for SMEs in the country…and the collaboration with Cisco will accelerate adoption of digitization for participants.”
The initiative aims to accelerate the growth of SMEs through "Cisco Product Innovation Lab" and "Cisco Experts Insights".
The Ministry of Economy has outlined the criteria for enrolling in the programs most prominent of the company must be registered in the UAE employing 10 and 250 employees and operates in the technology sector.
15 SMEs will be selected to participate in the "Cisco Product Innovation Lab". 
The Ministry of Economy and Cisco have announced a digitization initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country, under the scope of the ambitious program “Entrepreneurial Nation 2.0”. 
As part of the Scale Up’ track, SMEs from across the UAE will have the opportunity to participate in the "Cisco Product Innovation Lab" and develop their capabilities by benefiting from Cisco's digital and smart solutions. The second initiative, titled “Cisco Expert Insights”, falls under the ‘Skill Up’ track and aims to leverage Cisco’s expertise in the areas of digital innovation, business development, sales, leadership, and marketing.
HE. Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, highlighted that : the UAE, thanks to the vision and directives of the wise leadership,  has  placed great importance on the development of businesses, as they are a key driver in supporting the country’s efforts to transition towards a new economic model based on knowledge, innovation, and sustainability. In line with the country’s outlook for the next 50 years, SMEs are well placed for further growth and expansion.  
HE added: “We recognize the importance of partnerships between the private and public sectors as they are crucial in providing more opportunities and supporting SMEs in executing their business operations. Our collaboration with Cisco signifies our ongoing commitment in this direction, as we seek to build the digital capabilities of growing businesses and in turn, consolidate the UAE’s position as a global destination for entrepreneurship.”
Abdelilah Nejjari, Managing Director for the Gulf Region at Cisco, commented: “The UAE under the directives of its wise leadership has for long placed great importance on the country’s goal to become one of the most prosperous nations and a global hub for entrepreneurship. We are honored to launch the digital initiative to support the growth of SMEs in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, which directly aligns with the government efforts. We seek to motivate businesses of all sizes to innovate and develop solutions using digital technologies to support their growth on a local and global scale.” 
“Empowering SMEs in the UAE is one of the main pillars of Cisco's Country Digital Acceleration Program (CDA), that aims to unlock the value of digitization in the country. Through this program, Cisco works closely with UAE government entities and private companies to design and launch initiatives to boost the UAE’s digital transformation vision and accelerate the development of the nation’s digital economy.” Nejjari added.
The Ministry of Economy has outlined the criteria for enrolling in the “Product Innovation Lab” program. The requirements include being registered in the UAE, employing between 10 and 250 employees, operating within the IT or programming industries, and having a specialized software team. Through this program, the Ministry will select 15 companies, which will receive a set of training courses in joint workspaces and mentoring workshops, led by a group of experts specialized in entrepreneurship, in addition to benefiting from the services of Cisco's digital laboratory and its advanced platforms.
The requirements for participating in the "Cisco Expert Insights" program include being registered in the UAE and employing a minimum of 5 employees. Participants will have access to the recently renewed Cisco Digital Transformation Center (DTC) in Dubai. SMEs will also benefit from Cisco’s expertise as one of the leading global companies in the field of technology, providing new opportunities through reimagining applications, securing data, and transforming infrastructure and empowering teams for a global and inclusive future.
SMEs can now enroll in Cisco’s Product Innovation program through the link here:  https://theentrepreneurialnation.com/program/cisco-product-innovation-lab/?lang=en
As for the Cisco Experts Insights program, small and medium-sized companies can register through the link here: https://theentrepreneurialnation.com/program/cisco-experts-insights/?lang=en.
In October 2022, the Ministry of Economy launched the second phase of The Entrepreneurial Nation, a comprehensive national project for the development of entrepreneurship in the UAE by providing new channels to access more opportunities. The program also aims to enable the growth of startups and SMEs and their business expansion from the UAE to various other global markets. As part of the program, more partnerships and collaboration with a wide range of public and private sector partners will continue to be forged, including business incubators and funds, commerce chambers, and prestigious local and global companies and organizations.