Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, approved the launch of the ‘Venture Debt Fund for Startups’ to bolster and sustain start-up projects in the emirate.

With a capital of Dh370 million, the fund aims to drive Dubai’s economic growth and fortify its position as a global hub for financial technology (FinTech), innovation, and venture capital. It will come into effect in June.

The Venture Debt Fund was approved during a meeting of the Executive Council held in the Umm Suqeim Majlis, chaired by Sheikh Hamdan.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “We approved the launch of the ‘Venture Debt Fund for Startups’ today under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to spearhead economic diversification and ignite sustainable economic growth. We are committed to create a vibrant business environment and providing opportunities to promote excellence.

“With an agile legislative system, robust financing tools, an effective regulatory environment, and most importantly, dynamic public and private sectors, Dubai has established itself as the city of entrepreneurs and risk-tolerant investors. Dubai has been able to attract the best talent and investors from around the world to forge partnerships and mutually benefit from the tremendous opportunities offered. In short, Dubai nurtures bold ambitions.”

Access to funding

Managed and supervised by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which is also a 15 per cent contributor, the fund will create an integrated system with a number of suitable options that can cater to the needs of enterprises.

The fund will provide capital to finance small to medium startup projects, supporting their development in Dubai and gradual expansion to global markets. This will in turn help develop and foster a stimulating environment for the establishment of funds or similar financing instruments.

The fund is set to contribute around Dh3 billion to the emirate’s GDP during the implementation period, which will run for eight years, and extendable for two additional years. It will also create more than 8,000 jobs for emerging talent, strengthening Dubai’s position as a regional centre for entrepreneurship and FinTech, innovation and venture capital, and ensuring that it attracts investors and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Improving the quality of life

The council also approved the establishment of a centre dedicated to providing institutional care for vulnerable groups. The centre will offer shelter services and permanent or temporary institutional care to improve the quality of life of dependent individuals through the provision of quality programmes and services.

The centre will be devoted to vulnerable groups including people of determination, senior citizens, the elderly and those deprived of adequate family care, in addition to children subjected to abuse, neglect or exploitation, who will be prioritised and primarily provided with adequate care within 24 hours, including rehabilitation, personal care, and orthopedic checks.

Source: Dubai launches Dh370m debt fund for start-ups | Business – Gulf News