How The UAE Wants To Grow 20 Unicorns By 2031

The UAE wants to grow 20 unicorns, or start-ups valued at more than $1 billion, by 2031. The new Entrepreneurial Nation programme is designed to support SME’s and startups launch, expand and grow their international and online business.


The Entrepreneurial Nation programme is designed to be a unifying ecosystem for start-ups from inception to growth, which has three main channels:


  1. The Skill-Up Academy is intended to equip participants with entrepreneurial skills and to be suited to a variety of participants, including students, recent graduates, employees, retirees, homemakers and jobseekers.

  2. Its Start-Up track will target entrepreneurs who are seeking to establish a business and will offer incentives, products and services to support start-ups and innovative companies in the country. This includes a partnership with Emirates Development Bank to open bank accounts as quickly as within 48 hours.

  3. The Scale-Up programme will back fast-growing, revenue-earning companies that are more than three years old to expand and eventually become unicorns.


The three channels will provide services for access to funding, expert mentorship support, exporting to international markets, talent acquisition and digitalisation.


To drive the programme further, Mr Ahmad Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs announced the setup of a Dh1bn ($272 million) private equity fund for lending to SMEs based in the country and operating in strategic sectors. The fund is set for release in the first quarter of 2022 and will run for 5 years.


SMEs have been hit hard by the pandemic both locally and globally, they are the cornerstones of the UAE economy, the support measures introduced by the UAE government to help business owners have not only helped businesses survive but also thrive. The liberation of company ownership along with the easing of visa rules has fostered a world-class business ecosystem that is perfect for entrepreneurship, startups and SMEs’s.


Do you have the next unicorn idea and want to begin your business journey in the UAE? Synergy’s expert team is on hand to guide and help you get started today.