Dubai – “ASWAQ”
Dubai SME, the agency mandated to develop the small and medium enterprises, will now allow their registered entrepreneurs to operate franchised retail as part of a new initiative to support entrepreneurs in the UAE.
This initiative will help provide vast investment opportunities for entrepreneurs by giving them access to an established trademark ‘aswaaq mart’, whilst enabling them to contribute to the development of the national economy.
Dubai SME, in collaboration with aswaaq, are committed to promote entrepreneurship and provide investment opportunities for UAE entrepreneurs. Saeed Matar Al Marri, deputy CEO of Dubai SME; and Abdullah Al Qubaisi, board member of aswaaq, signed the agreement. As part of the agreement, Dubai SME will provide aswaaq with detailed information on any registered member who wishes to operate an ‘aswaaq mart’ franchisee, and aswaaq in turn will accord preferential treatment to eligible Dubai SME members seeking its procurement contracts. Aswaaq will provide training to budding franchisees who will be given a manual on the conditions governing the franchise, store operations and management. The manual also serves as a record of the daily performance of the store.
Aswaaq will assist the franchisee in hiring and training as well as in matters relating to payroll and bank accounts. All internal processes and operational procedures of the franchisee will be monitored by aswaaq and every franchisee will be bound by common standards and providers in managing information technology and organisational excellence.
The agreement also entitles franchisees to source products and services from authorised suppliers of aswaaq at preferential rates, and be part of the special promotions launched by the franchiser as well as their loyalty programmes, email marketing and social media campaigns.
Al Marri said, “Dubai SME is committed to developing entrepreneurship and SMEs in Dubai, and strengthening the emirate’s position as entrepreneurial hub. Our development programmes and initiatives are aimed to stimulate innovative ideas of the youth and motivate them to participate in the national economy.”
Al Marri further said, “As a national enterprise specialised in sales and marketing, aswaaq has the knowledge and experience required to manage and operate retail outlets, has won global certifications for quality and food safety, and stands out in terms of the quality of their products and services. Dubai SME is pleased to be associated with such a prominent home-grown retail brand.”
While Al Qubaisi said, “Together, we have launched the ‘Matijari’ initiative, which aims to diversify the investment opportunities for Dubai SME members and contributes to stimulating the national cadres to achieve entrepreneurial excellence and business success.”
Dubai SME provides various services to entrepreneurs, including advisory and guidance on project start-up, and connecting entrepreneurs to the appropriate service providers. Financial assistance of up to Dh3 million are also provided for new and existing projects, in addition to a fully equipped office in the Business Incubation Centre of Dubai SME, varied capability development programmes, and preferential access to contracts under a Government Procurement Programme. Entrepreneurs under this programme are exempted from paying business license fees for the first 3 years.