The funding available at present for any potential investor in the region is the bank funding. The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development works in parallel with Abu Dhabi’s strategic economic development initiatives to assist in the creation of Emirati businessmen and businesswomen only. The Fund supports UAE nationals by offering 0% interest in addition to the technical support for those interested in starting small or medium enterprises.
The Fund was opened in Abu Dhabi in 2007 to help small and medium enterprises to achieve economic gains through the promotion of entrepreneurship among UAE nationals. Although it was financed by the Government of Abu Dhabi, the Khalifa Fund today is an enormous source of capital in Abu Dhabi, providing financial support for new small and medium companies, which is an important element for the success of emerging establishments. Admirably, the Khalifa Fund has not only designed a system for training entrepreneurs and financing small and medium enterprises, but also contributes to social stability in the region.
Through innovative programs targetting several categories, including entrepreneurs that were previously housewives, the Khalifa Fund emphasises that the strategic vision for any institution can combine economic development and social development at the same time. One of the main objectives of the Khalifa Fund is to create innovative practical ideas and provide financial support. It also provides training on the broad horizon of strategic thinking and project management. The Khalifa Fund is committed to fully supporting Emirati entrepreneurs through organising national and international conferences and forums, teaching new creative ideas, and studying the area over idea generation to meet social needs. Among the financial packages offered to UAE nationals in order to start a small business are the programs of "Khutwa (Micro-Finance)", "Bedaya (Start-up Loans)" and "Zeyada (Expansion Loans)".
The Khutwa Program provides small financial assistance for Emirati women who wish to set up businesses from home, mostly home-made works, handicrafts and clothing. The maximum funding provided under this program is up to AED 250,000. The Bedaya Program helps Emiratis who are potential entrepreneurs for projects with small to medium capital, and provides funding up to AED 3 million. Zeyada Program targets the existing companies and small and medium enterprises in their early stages that wish to grow and expand, and offers them medium to large capital.
The following are some examples of the advantages provided by those packages:
1. Finance by Loans
2. Venture / Risk Capital
3. Help Facilitate the Establishment of Businesses
4. Enhance Work Capabilities