Dubai SME and The University of Manchester sign ‘Strategic Talent Partnership’ to support SME development in Dubai

Randa Bessiso, Director – The University of Manchester Middle East Centre; Ibtihal AlNaji, Director, Department of Entrepreneurs Capabilities Development, Dubai SME

Dubai SME, the agency of the Department in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, and The University of Manchester-Middle East Centre (the University) in Dubai have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as a framework for a ‘Strategic Talent Partnership’ to help promote innovation and leadership among entrepreneurs and across the SME sector in Dubai. The agreement will create professional development and career opportunities for the University’s community of current part-time Masters students and alumni in the region, and Dubai SME’s staff and members. The partnership will also create privileged access to both organisations’ services and mutually beneficial networking opportunities.

Under the new agreement, Dubai SME and The University of Manchester have agreed to work together in three main areas in Dubai – professional development and business education opportunities, including talent management and careers services, with access into University programmes; cross-promotion of services including research, and career openings; and professional networking across both communities. Professional development and executive education opportunities will be shared across the two communities with preferential and fast track access to learning and development opportunities offered by the University.

The comprehensive SME support system of Dubai SME includes licensing and regulating business incubators and accelerators in Dubai to ensure the necessary guidance and mentoring support to SMEs, streamline the functioning of business incubators and accelerators, as well as to create an appropriate environment for creative entrepreneurs.

“We are delighted to have The University of Manchester-Middle East Centre, Dubai, as our partners in enabling entrepreneurial talent to evolve into strategic leadership in knowledge and business. It’s indeed a significant addition to the partnership network Dubai SME has created, and continues to expand, through a diversity of talent and business development initiatives aimed at the entrepreneurial and SME community in Dubai and the UAE,” commented Ibtihal AlNaji, Director, Department of Entrepreneurs Capabilities Development, Dubai SME.

Randa Bessiso, Director – The University of Manchester Middle East Centre, added: “We have a large regional community of talented students and alumni, who are all experienced working professionals and many of these are increasingly interested in more entrepreneurial career paths. Collaborations with professional bodies such as Dubai SME help to develop the University’s presence and impact for the benefit of both our communities.

“Dubai SME is the pre-eminent body for entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs in Dubai and, as an organisation committed to transforming people and careers through business education, there is a very natural mutual interest. We both recognise the value and need for the development of talent, leadership and innovation in the SME sector, as Dubai transforms rapidly into a knowledge economy. We look forward to working together with Dubai SME’s vibrant community of professionals.”

The University of Manchester is continuing to strengthen UAE-UK relationships through research, innovation and commercialisation. In addition to the highly regarded Manchester Global Part-time MBA and existing suite of Executive Education programmes, the University has introduced additional industry-led Masters programmes to the region. The first of these are the MSc Reliability Engineering and Asset Management and MSc International Healthcare Leadership.

The Middle East Centre has developed into the largest and fastest-growing centre in the University’s international network comprising six hubs in key business cities around the world. The centre has supported more than 2,200 part-time MBA students based in the region and has graduated more than 1,100 MBA students since opening in 2006.

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