(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A survey conducted by SMEinfo, the newly launched online portal dedicated to supporting the growing SME sector in the UAE, showed 45 per cent of business owners in the country believe expansion will be their biggest challenge in the next three years.
Conducted early this year, the survey asked more than 300 leading business owners what they thought were the most significant business challenges they expected to face until 2015.
Expansion was the top answer, suggesting optimism that the business climate will improve, to support SME expansion in the next 36 months. However, the recession was still a lingering concern, with 40 per cent of those surveyed fearing the economic slowdown will continue to be a challenge in the near-term.
The survey results provided insights to the development of the content and features of SMEinfo, an online portal aimed at building a business community offering knowledge-based support platforms for entrepreneurs to grow and nurture their businesses, as well as the establishment of the SMEinfo Awards, which was envisioned to help SMEs raise their profile and brand, by recognising success, growth and innovation.
For its inaugural edition, the SMEinfo Awards will honour SMEs who achieved distinction in the following areas - businesses, individuals, as well as sustainability and innovation. A stringent set of criteria have been established, and will be evaluated by a judging panel consisting of business personalities, SME enablers from the government, and highly-esteemed members of the UAE business community, including Dubai SME senior manager of strategy and policy Essam Omran Disi, SensAsia Urban Spas founder and managing director Salina Handa, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development enterprise development and support department manager Saer Imad, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development entrepreneurship development department senior manager Hussein Mohamed, e-Home Automation co-founder Khalifa A. Aljaziri and Ethos Consultancy owner Robert Keay.
The Business Awards will hand out recognition for businesses that have shown evidence of growth and achievement of key goals, delivering its company vision and mission, as well as innovation. Awards include Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Emirati Business of the Year, Online Business of the Year and Start-up Business of the Year.