Dubai – MENA Herald: The Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, the educational arm of Dubai SME, which is the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has seen a 57% increase in the enrolment of trainees in its various programmes during the first half of 2016, compared the same period in 2015.

Altogether, 1,100 trainees enrolled in the various programmes offered by the Academy to support the strategic plan of Dubai to advance entrepreneurship and empower ambitious young entrepreneurs to launch successful business projects that would further develop the local economy. With the training programmes being expanded to meet the requirements of the various sectors and entrepreneurial communities, the first half of the year saw 44 programmes being offered, as against 36 during H1 2015.

“The 1,100 entrepreneurs enrolled in the first half of 2016 is equal to the total enrolements for the whole of 2015, which shows the growing profile of Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy among the SME community and entrepreneurs. The Academy has become synonymous with the process of enterprise start-up and the programmes offered cover vital areas of entrepreneurial growth,” remarked Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME.

Al Janahi said Academy and its programmes eventually enhance the value added by SMEs to the overall economy, adding that Dubai SME is focused on developing the training programmes and promote knowledge exchange in the scientific, training and professional areas for better outcomes from the programmes.

“We review the market every quarter to evaluate the SME position and potential in various economic sectors as well as the supply and demand situation relating to training. We then design skill development programmes that support aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into feasible projects. That 30% of our trainees have launched their own projects speaks of the success of our programs,” added Al Janahi.

The programmes offered may vary every year and includes diploma and certificate courses in hospitality & restaurant management and retail trade, a flexible platform to launch projects in collaboration with the SEED Group, as well as a number of workshops and lectures on the importance of working smart and the importance of accounting in sustainable business ventures. The Academy is also set to provide for the first time in Abu Dhabi a training course entitled “Creativity and innovation in the application of social responsibility.”

Ibtihal Al Naji, Director of Enterprises Development Department in Dubai SME, said the Academy worked together with various partners from the public and private sectors during H1 2016 to design and develop its programmes. “Most notably, we worked with the Community Development Authority to provide training on the basics of successful business start-up and also with the Dubai Foundation for Women & Children on how to launch a small business. We have had similar programmes in co-operation with the Public Authority for Youth & Sports Welfare and the Ministry of Culture & Knowledge Development.”