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Something for the little guys—Dubai creates Corporate Governance Code

Something for the little guys—Dubai creates Corporate Governance Code

Could it be? Is the spotlight finally turning towards Dubai’s entrepreneurs beyong using them as a punchline for speeches on hope for Dubai’s future? Precious de Leon certainly hopes so.

August 7, 2011 4:00 by

Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) that has been entrusted with the development of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has joined hands with Hawkamah – The Regional Institute for Corporate Governance – to develop a code for SMEs on Corporate Governance.

This first-ever code in the emirates brings much relief to entrepreneurs, indicating the evolution of the SME sector in Dubai.

Does this mean we’re going to see more of local-based, grassroots brands in Dubai? We certainly hope so. A clearer pathway to growing a bankable and investable business can only come from better governance.

It isn’t a surprise that this is now being set up, following recent acquisitions of big name regional brands like Maktoob and UAE’s very own GoNabit. Needless to say the time is ripe.

Here’s some more info on the code:
Under Dubai SME’s Corporate Governance Plan for SMEs, a two-fold strategy comprising Promotion & Awareness Creation in the first phase and Capability Development in the second phase has been adopted to enable change and development for SMEs.

I. Promotion and Awareness Creation
Under promotion and awareness creation, Dubai SME will work with key stakeholders to promote corporate governance to the general SME population. A key tool is a guide book on CG for SMEs which will cater to micro, small and medium sized SMEs.

The message is start early, start now. For the medium and growing SMEs that aim to expand through new external capital, more complex aspects of corporate governance will be promoted such as awareness on board structures and composition, share ownerships and listing preparation in the Equity Markets.

Other promotional projects and activities include Awards for SMEs with Best Practices in Corporate Governance and for Best SME Annual Reports. Dubai SME has engaged Hawkamah to develop the Code of Corporate Governance for SMEs based in Dubai, using the official definition of SMEs developed by Dubai SME and the Dubai Statistics Centre.

The idea is to customize the corporate governance code in the economic and business context of Dubai/UAE’s business requirements. The code, which will be launched on Sept. 26, will then be used as a basis to develop other products like tool kits and training programmes. Post-launch, various seminars and road shows will be organized to create greater awareness.

II. Capability Development
Under capability development, Dubai SME will work with partners to launch diagnostic tool kits and training sessions. It has tied up with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for a train-the-trainer progamme on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for SMEs.

The first such training will be held in Dubai from Sept. 27- 29. Subsequently, more IFRS training sessions will be organized for SMEs. For more advanced SMEs that wish to…

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