Yellow Bus on Road Near City Buildings. Representational Image.
Yellow Bus on Road Near City Buildings. Representational Image. Max Avans/

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) du and DIFC Innovation Hub have announced a partnership agreement to launch the "du Business Entrepreneurship Program" designed to support entrepreneurs and start-ups with innovative initiatives in order to enhance the UAE's business ecosystem.

The agreement was signed by Mohammad Alblooshi, the Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Innovation Hub, and Karim Benkirane, the Chief Commercial Officer of du, in the presence of Arif Amiri, the Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, and Fahad Al Hassawi, Chief Executive Officer du, Monday.

The program also aims to help SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) grow by teaching them how to scale their operations with flexible telecom and workspace solutions.

The "du Business Entrepreneurship Program" will offer practical communication, marketing, and cybersecurity training to increase productivity and innovation. SMEs will also learn to use the latest technologies, like AI, to become more competitive and efficient.

The program will guide SMEs through the digital transformation process, covering strategic planning, technology adoption, and organizational change management to help them achieve sustainable growth in a fast-changing business world.

"In alignment with our strategic objectives, du is proud to cement a partnership with DIFC Innovation Hub, marking a shared commitment to fostering an entrepreneurial environment in the Middle East," Al Hassawi said, according to WAM.

"This initiative is a part of our mission to bolster the regional economy through the empowerment of SMEs and start-ups. The du Business Entrepreneurship Program is primed to serve as a catalyst, offering a suite of resources, expert mentorship and dynamic networking conduits," he added.

Al Hassawi said that the company is ready to support the growth and development of start-ups, helping to drive economic diversification and innovation, which are key parts of the UAE's national vision.

Amiri also echoed similar sentiments, noting that SMEs and start-ups are the backbone of Dubai's economy and the driving force behind innovation and job creation.

"DIFC is already home to over 1,000 FinTech and Innovation companies and an ever-evolving ecosystem driving the future of finance. The next generation of leaders taking part in the 'du Business Entrepreneurship Programme' will benefit from access to this growing community of world-leading talent as they come together to unleash their growth potential," he said.

The program is aligned with the D33 agenda's objective of developing the SME scale-up program.