In line with the UAE’s efforts to accelerate the growth of the business of startups and SMEs, support their expansion plans, and increase their investments in local and global markets, the Ministry of Economy launched the ScaleUp Franchise programme in partnership with ‘Emtiyz,’ a company specialised in franchising. The program is part of phase II of ‘The Entrepreneurial Nation’.

Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, affirmed that the Ministry will continue to provide support for entrepreneurship and startups in the country by developing its partnership with the government and private sectors under The Entrepreneurial Nation. This will help enhance the capabilities of entrepreneurs and owners of SMEs and ease their access to growth and business expansion opportunities.

“The ScaleUp Franchise program aims to develop the internal operations systems of SMEs in the country in the field of franchising, support their capacity and provide them with expertise and knowledge so that they are ready to benefit from the global systems of franchising, in a way that supports their expansion and investment plans in the local, regional and global markets,” he said.

He indicated that the programme contributes to providing companies with all legal, operational, and financial services related to international franchising systems, by obtaining legal advice and specialized training courses, in addition to providing a 10-year marketing support for brands, which helps them to attract investors and launch new branches locally and globally.

The Ministry of Economy stated that the programme will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will last for eight weeks and can include 25 SMEs, while the second phase lasts for six months and aims to ensure the full readiness of participants in franchising.

The ScaleUp Franchise programme is included in one of the tracks of the ScaleUp programme, which is part of one of the three main pillars of ‘The Entrepreneurial Nation’. The Ministry invites all UAE SMEs wishing to participate in the programme to apply via The Entrepreneurial Nation.

The Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with the ‘Emtiyz,’ has established a set of eligibility criteria for selecting SMEs to participate in the program. Most notably, companies wishing to joing must have a commercial license in the country, including free zones, and that the company’s project achieved profits during the last fiscal year, the signing of the mutual investment contract for 10 years and attend all training courses.

The Ministry had launched the first phase of ‘The Entrepreneurial Nation’ in November 2021 as a comprehensive platform aimed at supporting the growth of startups in the country. It works to create a suitable environment for the expansion of their activities, providing support for more than 8,000 startups and entrepreneurial projects of SMEs in the country to transform more than 20 startups into unicorns by 2031.

Also, the second phase of ‘The Entrepreneurial Nation’ was launched in October 2022. It included ten new programs in cooperation with a wide range of global strategic partners to support the growth and expansion of SMEs from the UAE to the world. The first initiatives of the second phase were launched recently, announcing partnerships with various regional and global markets, including the Republic of South Korea, the Republic of India, the Republic of Latvia, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Emtiyz has more than 24 years of experience in the field of franchising. It is also a service provided by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SMEs Development to empower and qualify local and regional companies on franchise systems. It has expertise in all areas of franchising, including the provision of franchise contracts that comply with regional laws and intellectual property rights.