RAK SME initiative signs agreement with eight businesses to help start-ups

RAK SME, an initiative by Ras Al Khaimah’s Chamber of Commerce to encourage start-ups in the emirate, has signed initial agreements with eight businesses that will lend their support to its SMEs.

The programme, which was set up in 2007, will offer discounted legal, financial, marketing and consultancy advice to new businesses launched by Emiratis.

Among the firms pledging their support for the initiative were the commercial payments firm Paytime, Haitham Acounting and Auditing, Designer Engineering Consultants, Al Maftool Legal Consultants and RAK Hospital.


Yousef Esmaeel, the chairman of the supreme committee for RAK SME, said that of the eight businesses offering support to start-ups, five had graduated from its own programme.

He said that 448 businesses have been supported by the initiative since it began, and that 21 per cent of those currently involved were women-owned entities.

“The eight businesspeople who agreed to come to sign with us want to support the businesses,” he said. “Before, many people were just coming to us and wanting to start a business. We said, don’t do business without making proper studies.”

The initiative was supported by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr’s Programme for Young Business Leaders, which had donated an entire building to new SMEs.

This is now full and needs to be expanded.

Ras Al Khaimah’s rulers have also been granting land plots for young Emiratis looking to start industrial companies.

Only 2 per cent of companies in the RAK SME programme are industrial firms, compared with 42 per cent that are traders and 56 per cent that are involved in professional services.

mfahy@thenational.ae

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