Dubai – MENA Herald: SMEWorld 2016, the third edition of the largest entrepreneurship conference in the Middle East & North Africa region, will be held on 15th March 2016 at Atlantis, The Palm Dubai. Themed ‘Enabling Global Ambitions,’ the conference is a celebration of success and aims to engage small and medium businesses and help them emerge as leaders on a global scale.

Organized by SPI Group, UAE’s top SME platform, in partnership with Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the SME sector, the conference will be attended by more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, business magnates, investors, heads of government departments and C-Suite executives. It boasts powerful keynotes from international speakers, engaging panel discussions, strategic workshops, an exhibition showcasing leading service providers and an art expo showcasing over 25 international artists.

SME World 2016 is supported by Strategic SME Partner Etisalat, Corporate Banking Partner Emirates NBD, Sole Automotive Partner Al Futtaim Toyota, Insurance Partner AIG and Silver Sponsor Oracle.

“Dubai epitomises the success of SMEs in driving innovation global competitiveness and sustainable development. The Dubai SME 2021 Strategic Plan focuses on elevating the accumulated resources and capabilities of SMEs to a wider international stage and we see SMEWorld 2016 as an appropriate forum to showcase the UAE’s SME potential before key industry players worldwide,” said Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

Announcing the details of SMEWorld 2016, Shantanu AP, CEO of SPI Group, said: “SMEWorld 2016 is for SME owners and investors looking to develop new connections, gather critical leadership insights, improve perceptions and gain inspiration. It celebrates the hopes and ambitions of each entrepreneur who strives in a challenging environment. It cherishes every innovative mind that seeks to bring change, every leader who aims to rise, and every investor willing to take risks to create value. Regional SMEs will find ample assistance as they move towards realizing their global expansion aspirations at the conference.”

John Lincoln, Senior Vice President for SMBs at Etisalat, said “Small and Medium businesses are the backbone of the UAE economy and we are keen to see many more of them succeed. We have created several customized solutions and business packages that take into account their needs of value pricing, transparency, flexibility and predictability, and we will continue to support their growth. Our partnership with SMEWorld is testament to the high priority we accord to this sector and we look forward to building on this platform.”

Vikas Thapar, Head of Business Banking, Emirates NBD reiterated the bank’s commitment to the SME sector adding, “Small and medium companies are the engine of growth for any economy and as a flagship UAE bank, Emirates NBD is deeply invested in creating opportunities for growth for this critical sector. We are honoured to support SMEWorld Summit as we share a mutual commitment to creating powerful platforms of growth for SMEs in the UAE to engage, network and develop.”

According to Roberto D’Silva, General Manager, Al-Futtaim Motors, “We continue our fruitful association with SMEWorld summit that has continued since its inception. We are excited to be part of this year’s event and anticipate another grand conference. Al-Futtaim Motors helps SMEs with our industry leading business solutions, ensuring that Toyota is the automotive partner of choice for them.”

Melina Argyriou, Head of SME Package, AIG – emphasized that SMEs form the backbone of UAE’s economy and focused on the importance of insurance for small and medium enterprises. SMEs are the business powerhouse and engine of the UAE and with the right insurance protection they will continue to play their vital role in growing the economy. Insurance for SMEs it’s not about repair or replacing but it’s about restoring a business and that it is why it must be comprehensive and straightforward to protect the core elements of the operation: People – Assets –Profit. AIG aims to provide security and peace of mind to SME clients.

“At Microsoft, we believe SME’s will be the backbone of UAE’s economic prosperity as they are nimble, innovative and more connected to the needs of their customers. Microsoft has always prided itself to be at the forefront of technological advancement, empowering people and organizations all around the world to achieve more. Now we want to help SME’s survive and thrive with technology that helps lower costs and increase returns. We build solutions that enable businesses to reinvent themselves and compete on a global scale by offering greater agility and efficiency. Microsoft is pleased to extend its support towards the SME World Summit 2016 which endorses our mutual efforts of advancing SME growth in line with the UAE vision 2021” Haider Salloum, SMB Segment Director, Microsoft Gulf.

The SME Service Provider Expo at SMEWorld 2016 will see the region’s SME service providers showcase their products and services, present their success stories and share their growth plans with industry, governments, investors and the general public. Panel discussions at the summit will feature global thought leaders as they present their insights on entrepreneurship. SMEWorld 2016 will feature insightful and engaging workshops with the industry’s leading thought-leaders.

SMEWorld 2016 is a must attend event for entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and business enablers from the MENA region. It provides some of the best opportunities for business growth and brings together leading entrepreneurs and businesses under one roof.