Monday, May 2, 2011

UAE-Based ‘Potential’ Launches ‘SME Evolution Programme’ in Arabic

Registration Commences at Dubai SME

Dubai-UAE: 2 May, 2011 – Potential, a leading UAE-based business development

company, today announced the launch of the Arabic version of its ’SME Evolution

Programme’ in a bid to enhance the initiative’s reach and invite heightened

participation from small and medium business enterprises (SMEs).

The SME Evolution Programme is the first of its kind free web-training that offers

practical support to enterprises and enables them to compete effectively on the

international marketplace.

Over 100 entrepreneurs and SME sector experts attended the launch during a

workshop at the Department of Economic Development’s (DED) ‘Dubai SME’ offices.

The launch was also attended by Potential’s local partners including Union National

Bank (UNB), as well as regional partners MEVP, AllWorld, Aramex, Google, Intel,

The workshop agenda included a presentation on the programme with Potential’s

regional partners offering industry perceptions. Following a comprehensive Q&A

session, an online live test of the programme was conducted for the benefit of

the SMEs. Registration for the Arabic version of the SME Evolution Programme

commenced immediately after the conclusion of the workshop.

The SME Evolution Programme offers an opportunity for SMEs to register in a free

interactive business development initiative. It allows participants to gain best

practices for improving business efficiency, expanding businesses and competing

internationally. It also facilitates the creation of new job opportunities and provides

valuable exposure to emerging entrepreneurs.

Over an initial period of six months, the SME Evolution Programme delivers a

valuable blend of more than 50 free 'webinars' or online interactive training

sessions, in addition to live workshops. The learning is provided in collaboration

with professors from top international universities.

Shadi Banna, Managing Partner of Potential, said: “Since launching the SME

Evolution Programme in February 2011, more than 300 business owners and

directors have registered and continued to gain from this pragmatic initiative. The

Arabic version of the programme seeks to fulfil the regional demand for such niche

solutions that can effectively reach out to engage more businesses in the region.

“We aim to have the programme easily accessible to the regional market, showcase

our work and provide all support needed for SMEs to grow and excel in every

possible environment. We urge companies to partner with the programme and

educate businesses on ways to expand and achieve optimum growth.”

His Excellency Abdul Basit Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said: “Our partnership with

Potential has great significance in the long-term strategic plans and vision of Dubai.

It creates a strong support system for SMEs and entrepreneurs seeking to expand

their horizons and leverage business networks to source the essentials for their

growth as well as to market their products and services.

“SMEs, which account for over 95 per cent of the private enterprises in Dubai, are

leading economic growth and job creation in the UAE today. It is, therefore, a top

priority that this sector has access to leading edge knowledge, technology, as well

as funding and markets.”

Essam Zahran, Vice-President and Department Manager, SME Business Banking,

Union National Bank (UNB), said: “As a UAE-based banking institution providing

personal and corporate banking services, we joined the programme to participate in

the process of helping SMEs learn more about financing opportunities. We are glad

to be part of this significant initiative and look forward to sharing key information

and relevant experience with the participants.”

The SME Evolution Programme offers a unique opportunity for small businesses to

grow. Through the concept, Potential also aims to help SMEs network with their

peers throughout the Middle East and gain support from each other as well as from

mentors that are assigned to answer questions and enquiries.

For more information, you can visit

About Potential:
Potential has pioneered the innovative Next Generation Performance framework for DEVELOPING STARS, whether
Individual Entrepreneurs, Large Organizations or employees within SMEs. Founded in 2005 with headquarters
in Dubai and team locations across the Middle East region, Potential is supporting thousands of individuals and
hundreds of companies to kick-start their businesses, improve their performance, boost sales, improve customer
service performance, innovate, expand and develop their Next Generation Leaders.
The company’s portfolio consists of consulting, coaching and training capabilities, deployed across products such
as the flagship Potential Entrepreneur program for Individual Entrepreneurs as well as bespoke development
programs for SMEs and Large Organizations. Potential follows a special and unique methodology of work with its
customers. It uses a customized sequential program to evaluate the situation of the client’s business, discover
areas that need improvement, undertake training and onsite coaching and then re-evaluate results.
During the past 5 years, Potential helped dozens of entrepreneurs to startup their companies and supported
hundreds of SMEs to expand their business. Moreover, Potential has provided tailored performance improving
programs to over 50 leading corporations including Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, Doha Bank, Dell, Du, Belkin,
HP, and Saudi Telecom.

In September 2009, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime
Minister and Ruler of Dubai issued Law No.23 of 2009 concerning the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment
for SME Development, one of the Department of Economic Development establishments, recently renamed as
the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders (Dubai SME). The new law confirms the
commitment of Dubai Government to support the development of SMEs sector.

The law defines the goals and responsibilities of the establishment. Given that SMEs include 98.5% of registered
business in Dubai, with 61% of the work force working in this sector. The law aims to strengthen Dubai’s position
as a centre for entrepreneurship and enterprise development based on innovation and intellectual property.

About Union National Bank:

Union National Bank (UNB) is a public joint stock companynion incorporated under the laws of the United Arab
Emirates in 1982. UNB is the only bank in the UAE with significant shareholdings by the Governments of both Abu
Dhabi (50%) and Dubai (10%). The remaining 40% of the shares are publicly held. The shares of UNB are listed on
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.
UNB operates through a wide network of branches and ATMs throughout the UAE. UNB has extended its reach to
Egypt through a successful acquisition of the erstwhile ACMB and currently operates in the country as UNB Egypt
through a number of banking centres. It has ventured into Doha with a branch at the Qatar Financial Centre and
has also opened a representative office in Shanghai China, being the first bank from the region to do so. In 2011,
UNB also received a license to operate in Kuwait.
In its quest for excellence, UNB has adopted the Total Quality Management concepts and systems and business

excellence framework. In the process it has received several prestigious accolades and third party validations. The
Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (SKEA) received in 2002 was followed by SKEA Gold in 2005 and again in 2009,
thereby becoming the only organisation to have won the SKEA Gold twice. UNB is also a winner of the prestigious
Dubai Quality Award in 2006 and 2009 as well as the MRM Business Award in 2009. In 2010 UNB received the
Bank of the Year award at the 2010 Arabian Business Achievements award. In addition, the UNB CEO received the
CEO of the Year Award at the CEO Middle East Awards 2010, Banking Category. UNB also received the Superbrand
Status in the UAE for the year 2011. In 2011 UNB has become the first financial institution in the world to be
certified by M/s Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) Ltd. to the Integrated Management System (IMS)
comprising of three standards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
UNB was the first bank of its size in the Middle East to be certified to ISO 9001 standards in 2002 for a complete
range of banking services across the Head Office and Branches. The ISO 9001 certification has been successfully
renewed in 2005 and again in 2008 with enhanced scope. In 2009, UNB’s ISO 9001 certification has been
upgraded to the 2008 version becoming the first bank in the region to receive this certification from M/s Lloyds
Register Quality Assurance.
UNB is fully prepared to comply with the UAE Central Bank’s guideline and timeframe for the Basel II
To find out more about Union National Bank and its products & services, log on to, call 600-566-665
or visit a conveniently located branch in your vicinity.


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