Furthering its efforts of supporting, empowering, and equipping the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector in the UAE with the necessary infrastructure and conducive environment, the UAE government has taken yet another important step. In December 2022, the country announced the launch of the Future 100 Initiative.
The new initiative aims to support and identify the top 100 start-ups that will have a positive impact on the country’s economy and help it prepare for the future. The program will encourage emerging sectors such as space, renewable energy, and emerging technologies, all of which are bound to have a significant impact on the economy of the UAE in the near future.
Per this initiative, 100 future-ready companies will be honored annually, judged on benchmarks already set out based on objectives and new defining parameters for the future economy. The announcement of the launch of the initiative was made during an event attended by Abdulla bin Touq, the Minister of Economy, and Ohoud Al Roumi, the Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, along with other dignitaries.
He was quoted as saying, “The question in 2020 was: ‘What will the GDP of the UAE look like in the future economy? Are we going to stay and wait for another pandemic to take action and try to rectify these things?’ So we took it upon us to really lead the economy.”
He further added, “The most important part of it is that these economic changes have a lag of about two years. Today, there is a huge diversification in terms of numbers.”
At the launch of the 'Future 100' initiative, attended by Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, and Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future.
Talking about the importance and relevance of such initiatives, Ohoud Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, said, “Because of the UAE’s futuristic vision, we are today enjoying a successful and unique development model. In the next 20 years, the pace of change will be faster than it is today. It is difficult to predict the future, but we know it will be different, and we have to be ready for it.”
Needless to say, the Future 100 initiative is one of the many efforts on the part of the authorities in the UAE that have contributed to strengthening the SME ecosystem in the country in the past few years. The wide range of sectors in which start-ups operate and the innovations they are bringing about will all receive recognition with this initiative, which promises an even more empowered entrepreneurial landscape as an integral part of the economic development the country is headed towards.
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