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du, commercially rebranded from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), has announced a strategic partnership agreement with DIFC Innovation Hub to launch the 'du Business Entrepreneurship Programme.’

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority and Fahad Al Hassawi, Chief Executive Officer, du; and signed by Mohammad Alblooshi, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Innovation Hub and Karim Benkirane, Chief Commercial Officer, du.

“In alignment with our strategic objectives, du is proud to cement a partnership with DIFC Innovation Hub, marking a shared commitment to fostering [the] entrepreneurial environment in the Middle East. This initiative is a part of our mission to bolster the regional economy through the empowerment of SMEs and start-ups,” Al Hassawi commented.

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Entrepreneurship Hub at DIFC’s Innovation One Building

The new programme is designed to provide substantial support to entrepreneurs and start-ups, focusing on cutting-edge programmes and initiatives that encourage innovation within the UAE’s business ecosystem.

“The du Business Entrepreneurship Programme is primed to serve as a catalyst, offering a suite of resources, expert mentorship and dynamic networking conduits. We are poised to facilitate growth and development across the start-up ecosystem, contributing to the sustained economic diversification and innovation that characterizes the UAE national vision," continued Al Hassawi.

Anchored within the DIFC Innovation Hub at the newly-launched Innovation One building, the 'Entrepreneurship Hub' serves as a professional epicenter for SMEs and start-ups. As part of the collaboration, entrepreneurs will have access to innovative workspace solutions, tailored to foster creativity and nurture the growth of new business ideas.

The workspace, available to du customers for booking via the “Letswork” app, is poised to become a beacon of innovation and collaboration. The programme aims to elevate SMEs by focusing on scalability and accessibility, teaching them to equip their operations for growth with flexible telecom and workspace solutions.

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Highly-Specialized Workshops

Aligned with the aspirations of the entrepreneurial community, du will solidify its strategic position in supporting the UAE's progressive economic ambitions.

In line with the D33 agenda’s objective, which entails developing the SME scale-up programme, the ‘du Business Entrepreneurship Programme’ will curate a series of highly specialized workshops to enable AI transformation across the SME and start-up sector in the UAE.

The workshops will focus on multi-faceted themes such as optimizing customer acquisition using AI technologies, building and maintaining CRM systems, adopting emerging technologies, improving customer engagement, and optimizing back-office efficiency, among others.

The programme will also guide SMEs through the digital transformation process, covering strategic planning, technology adoption and organizational change management, to leverage technology for sustainable growth in today's rapidly evolving business environment.

Enhancing digital literacy among SMEs, the programme will be providing practical training in communication, marketing and cybersecurity, thereby increasing productivity and fostering innovation.

Equipping Next-Generation Leaders

“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,” stated Amiri.

The partnership will encompass a robust framework of collaborative efforts to create synergies between the two organizations, leveraging du's capabilities as a telecommunications leader and DIFC's expertise as a global financial hub.

The announcement follows the recent official inauguration of the Dubai AI Campus by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Future Technology and Digital Economy, which also facilitates multinational technology partnerships in collaboration with the DIFC Innovation Hub and du.

Hence, participants of the 'du Business Entrepreneurship Programme' will gain access to the Dubai AI Campus; a nurturing ecosystem that fosters AI businesses and cultivates top talent at the forefront of AI innovation.

Beyond promoting collaboration, the ‘du Business Entrepreneurship Programme’ is driven by du’s commitment to facilitating entrepreneurial success. In line with this vision, the participating entrepreneurs will also benefit from highly-customized du business solution bundles, which aim to provide the necessary support and resources to build and scale tech-driven businesses.

Also Read: du, GoDaddy to Build a Healthy Digital Ecosystem for UAE Entrepreneurs

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