Good news for entrepreneurs

More money for small businesses.

A fund that aims to help small and medium sized enterprises in the UAE granted a total of Dhs246 million ($67 million) in funds for 154 projects in 2008.

A report released by the Khalifa Fund to Support and Develop Small and Medium Enterprises (KFSME) said that Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, had raised the Fund's capital from Dhs300 million to Dhs1billion.

Set up in June 2007, the KFSME initially included two programmes - Bedaya (start up), which provides seed capital and other zero-interest finance to the tune of Dhs3million, and Zeyada (expansion), tailored to fund expansion of existing projects with a maximum limit of Dhs5million.

As part of its quest to diversify its financing packages, the Fund has introduced a third programme, dubbed Khutwa, or step, aimed at supporting small enterprises such as vocational and home-based businesses, usually carried out by people with limited budgets. T

he programme provides funding of up to Dhs250,000, plus training courses in technical fields to enable this targeted segment start viable and profitable businesses.

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