Khalifa Fund '&' NBAD to launch AED 500 million SME fund
WAM ABU DHABI: Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) announced plans to launch the Imtiyaz SME Development Fund, a private equity fund aimed at encouraging Emirati entrepreneurship and providing equity financing to promising new small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) or fast-growing existing SMEs.
The Group Chief Executive of the NBAD Michael Tomalin, and the Chief Executive Officer of KFED Abdullah Al Darmaki have signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") at the NBAD head office to jointly establish the fund.
The Fund will have an initial equity size of AED 80 million with matching commitments from KFED and NBAD. The size of the Fund is expected to reach AED 500 million.
The Fund expects strong support from major government related entities, large corporations and institutional investors. The support would involve providing or enabling viable investment opportunities and/or contributing capital to the fund.
"Our partnership with NBAD to launch the Imtiyaz SME Development Fund will build on KFED's commitment towards promoting Emirati entrepreneurial activity, encouraging economic diversification and creating a favorable financing and investment environment for SMEs'. We will develop the Imtiyaz Fund by building and expanding our public and private partnerships and the priority will be given to businesses that contribute to technology and knowledge transfer to the local market" said Al Darmaki.
"NBAD is an active supporter of SMEs in the country. This joint initiative with KFED reflects our continued commitment to further empower Emirati entrepreneurs and enable faster development of the SME sector in the UAE, a sector expected to become a key driver of innovation and economic growth" said Tomalin.
Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development launched its operations in 2007 to promote entrepreneurial activity and empower the nation's business talent. KFED trains potential entrepreneurs, provides soft loans and ongoing support during the set-up and operation of SMEs. The Direct Investment Unit in KFED along with NBAD's Private Equity practice will look after the operation of the Imtiyaz Fund.
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi has launched several SME-centric products since 2011. This includes the opening of several Business Banking Centres throughout the UAE and serving exclusively SMEs. NBAD has also partnered with the KFED, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI), Dubai SME, and RAK Free Trade Zone on various initiatives aimed at promoting the sector.