in5, the innovation centre launched by Dubai Internet City (DIC) in 2013, welcomed SMEs from across DIC and TECOM Investments’ business communities to learn and be introduced to online tools such as Google AdWords and connect with Google Partners who are certified vendors of similar products. The aim of the event to help SMEs develop and reach bigger markets online in an effective manner.
The UAE has nearly 300,000 SMEs who, according to recent statistics from Dun and Bradstreet, are providing over 86% of employment opportunities in the private sector alone. With an internet penetration rate of 88% in the UAE, the highest in the Middle East, it is vital that businesses have a robust online presence. However, as revealed by a Google survey last year, only 18% of businesses in the UAE are online, which highlights significant room for growth.
During the workshop, titled ‘Grow your Business on the Web’, Google demonstrated how SMEs can leverage online presence to grow a business, and highlighted the different opportunities associated with being online.
The workshop provided an ideal platform for SMEs to network, connect with industry experts from Google, learn about the different online tools available to them, and discover the most effective ways to promote a business online.
Commenting, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone, said;
“Google has played a major role in driving the online presence of SMEs and increasing understanding about the importance of being on the web for any business. Given the rising number of SMEs in the UAE, who play such an instrumental role in contributing to GDP as well as wider creativity and enterprise, it is of the utmost importance that SMEs are educated about the different opportunities and products available to them.”
“in5 is committed to supporting and encouraging innovation and creativity among companies of all sizes, and providing opportunities for businesses to learn from experts about the most effective ways to reach their customers online. We shall always try to provide small businesses and start-ups the opportunity to grow, expand and in turn, succeed, and continue to look at ways to foster innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship over the coming years.”
Shant Oknayan, the Google Marketing Lead for SMEs in the Middle East and North Africa discussed the different ways to create, manage and optimize online advertising campaigns, and the most effective ways to reach more customers.
Commenting, he said;
“Google is committed to supporting the development of digital economies in the region, particularly SMBs as they constitute over 80% of overall MENA businesses. Small businesses in the region are missing a great economic opportunity by not embracing the web and reaching out to customers online. We want to help them leverage the web and maximize its benefits.”