Under the Patronage of

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

8:00 to 9:45

Registration

10:00 to 11:00

Global Leaders Debate – Investing for the Future: Shaping Global Investment Strategies

Venue: Sheikh Rashid Hall

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows slid by 13% in 2018, to US$1.3 trillion from $1.5 trillion the previous year – the third consecutive annual decline, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2019.

We are witnessing a global slowdown of the economy, with many countries being more conservative and restricting the inflow or the outflow of FDI. The Geopolitics is hampering the growth of FDI. Globalisation is running out of stem, and a new term is being coined called “Slowbalisation”.

The Global Leaders Debate will discuss the future investment trend and how is it impacting FDI, SMEs, Startups and Future Cities.

The high-level panel will convene heads of state, academia, heads of international institutions, leaders from multinational organisations, leading unicorns and investors from developing and mature economies.

11:00 to 12:00

Interview with Industry Leader

Venue: Sheikh Rashid Hall

12:00 to 12:30

Opening Ceremony

Venue: Sheikh Rashid Hall

12:30 to 14:00

Lunch & Networking Break

14:00 to 15:00

SME Pillar Session 1 - SMEs & Digital Transformation

Venue: Breakout Room 2

SMEs are considering tapping into digital trends to grow further and strengthen their competitive edge as well as making use of emerging technologies to maintain their profitability. What is the biggest mistake small-medium enterprises make when it comes to digital transformation?

What is the balance between adopting new technologies and ensuring productive disruption? How effective data utilisation plays an important role? The speakers will address all these points in this session.

15:00 to 16:00

SME Pillar Session 2 - Financing SMEs in the Digital Era

Venue: Breakout Room 2

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for over 90% of firms worldwide. They are the most significant contributors to employment and generate the majority of jobs in developing economies. SMEs are also a substantial contributor to overall value-added in these economies.

However, SMEs face greater financing obstacles than larger firms—they enjoy less access to external finance and face higher transactions costs and higher risk premiums. Almost 70% of SMEs do not use external financing from financial institutions, and another 15% are underfinanced. The total credit required to finance these SMEs fully is over $2 trillion, equivalent to 14% of total developing economy GDP.

12:00 to 13:00

SME Pillar Session 3 - Policy Making and Building the Right Ecosystem for SMEs

Venue: Breakout Room 1

For SMEs to thrive in a country, they need to be supplied with a suitable environment to function in, to set up, get registered and thrive. In this session, speakers will speak about the benchmark policies governments have set up to promote SME development and what needs to be done by governments for further promotion of SMEs.

13:00 to 14:30

Lunch & Networking Break

15:30 to 16:30

SME Pillar Session 4 - Unleashing Economic Growth through Women-Led SMEs

Venue: Al Multaqua Ballroom

Women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make significant contributions to the economies in which they operate. However, female entrepreneurs face a range of financial and nonfinancial challenges in realising their growth potential and are more likely than their male counterparts to cite access to finance as a significant or severe constraint on their business operations.

This session will discuss why are we seeing a growth in women-led SMEs, what are the challenges women entrepreneurs face, and how can they be overcome.

16:30 to 17:00

SME Pillar Session 5 – SME Partnership

Venue: Breakout Room 2

In the world of digitalisation and greater accessibility, it has become even more important for SMEs to form the right partners who can help access markets globally, which goes way beyond their local markets. The challenge for any SME is how to find the right partner.

This session will discuss how effective partnerships can help SME to reach out to a global market. What are the challenges when it comes to forming these partnerships?

10:00 to 11:00

SME Pillar Session 6 - Digitalization of Agriculture in SMEs

Venue: Breakout Room 2

The Agriculture industry has been going through a phase of innovation. The legacy agriculture model is facing pressure in meeting the demands for the future: demographics, scarcity of natural resources, climate change, and food waste all these challenges are not working in favour of the traditional methods. To address these challenges, government, investors and innovative agriculture technologies need to combine their efforts to meet future needs.

13:00 to 14:30

Lunch & Networking Break

14:30 to 15:30

SME Pillar Session 7 - Franchises & SMEs

Venue: Breakout Room 1

Franchising is a successful model in many economies. It requires high investment but comes on at minimal risk, brand power and access to innovation. It is a $131 billion industry, and it's still growing.

In this session, we will have franchisor & franchise owners to share their experience and to state the advantages and challenges in setting up a franchise in once country. Plus, what actions should policymakers take to encourage investment of franchisees in their country?

16:30 to 17:00

Awards Ceremony AIM SME, Start Up and Future Cities

Venue: Al Multaqua Ballroom