Under the Patronage of

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

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


Dr. Karim El Solh

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Gulf Capital Limited
Gulf Capital Limited

Dr. Karim El Solh is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, one of the largest and
most active alternative asset management firms in the Middle East. Under his leadership, Gulf Capital
has been associated with some of the region’s most prominent private equity transactions and has won
numerous awards including ‘Best Private Equity Firm in the Middle East’ for four years in a row (2011,
2012, 2013 and 2014). Gulf Capital is currently managing $3 billion in assets, split across three
investment strategies: private equity, credit and mezzanine and real estate.
Prior to founding Gulf Capital, Dr El Solh was the CEO of the Abu Dhabi investment bank, The National
Investor. Under his leadership, the Firm was involved in a number of groundbreaking private equity
transactions and was ranked the number one IPO underwriter in the Gulf.
Dr. El Solh holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from Cornell University, an MBA from Georgetown
University and a Doctorate in Economics from the Institute D’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Science Po).

Sessions of the speaker



14:00 - 15:30

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.

The session will discuss how to finance SMEs in this digital era and what challenges are.

14:00 - 14:05


Hon. Giulio Centemero
Chairman of the PAM Panel on Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean
Parliamentary Assembly of Mediterranean (PAM)

14:05 - 14:25

Keynote Address

Mrs. Mouza Al Nasri
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED)

14:25 - 15:25

Panel Discussion

Dr. Karim El Solh
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Gulf Capital Limited
Gulf Capital Limited
Massimo Falcioni
Chief Executive Officer
Etihad Credit Insurance
Tanvir Aslam
Country Manager - United Arab Emirates
Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC)
Shane Shin
Founding Partner at Shorooq Partner
Shorooq Partners
Mr. Shachindra Nath
Executive Chairman at U GRO Capital
U GRO Capital