Date: 22 May, 2017
Venue: Arjaan Rotana, Dubai Media City
Time: 8:00 to 11:30 Hrs.
Entrance: Free
Click here to register

Your gateway to the essential expertise and knowledge
needed to accelerate SME business growth.

  • Direct access to a pool of invaluable and diverse advisors
  • Speed table sessions for one-to-one expert consultation
  • Networking with inspiring innovators, thought leaders and peers

  Event Schedule Agenda
08:00 Registration / Networking
08:30 Innovation Funding : How to get it right?
08:45 Dubai SME Rating Framework (RATE)
09:00 Expert Speed Tables
11:30 Closure / Networking

Who should attend:This session is relevant for startups, professionals and businesses however far into the SME journey they may be, from pre-incubation right through to established businesses.

Entry to the TECOM SME Builder series of events is free.

Places are limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis

Experts: Our panel experts will be debating what entrepreneurs really need to know in terms of Harnessing Business Opportunities. Expect a lively exchange between experienced practitioners from diverse backgrounds, serving to debunk the main SME myths, impart top tips and advice to capitalize on new opportunities.

For information about our Experts, click on the below tabs.

Dubai SME Rating Framework (RATE)

hamdaHamda Khalil

Current position: Dubai SME- Mohammed bin Rashid Fund – Acting Senior Manager – Fund Relations

MBA holder from CUD

2009 - 2014 experience in NBAD  Retail and GMO                 

  • Establish new borrowing relationships for MBRF by conducting introductory meetings with all prospects referred by Dubai SME Development and Advisory
  • Assist clients in preparing the pre-set financial & non- financial reports for completely submitted cases
  • Managing and developing the Quality of all services provided by MBRF
  • Participate in all related exhibitions for SME
  • Conduct workshops and seminars about SME finance

Innovation Funding : How to get it right?

martin-rousselMartin Roussel is the Business Finance Director for the Abu Dhabi based Emirates Development Bank (EDB) and Managing Director of the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF).

EDB is a UAE based Federal entity financing Emirati entrepreneurs with innovating projects aimed at diversifying the country’s economy.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund is a UAE based Federal initiative supporting innovators in accessing financing through the provision of a government-backed guarantee. The Fund of AED 2 billion was launched in November 2016 during the 2nd edition of the UAE’s Innovation Week.

Before joining EDB Marty served as Executive Vice-President, Head of Business Banking for the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB). Up to 2014 (and prior to relocating to the Middle East), Marty was in charge of Small Business Banking for Raiffeisen Bank International AG (CIS, CEE and SEE countries). In his 8 years’ tenure, he contributed to building one of Eastern Europe most successful and recognizable SME franchise.

Marty began his career over 20 years ago with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a crown-owned corporation specializing in SMEs financing and consulting, where he gained expertise in business analysis, credit analysis/structuring, sales & distribution, treasury, strategy and enterprise risk management.

A Canadian native from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Marty is an avid global speaker on SME related issues. Over the years he has delivered presentations on strategic planning, execution capabilities and performance management to various stakeholder groups in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Besides holding a B.Sc. in Actuarial Science, Marty graduated from the University of Cambridge MBA in May 2013. Member of the Oxford & Cambridge Society UAE Advisory Committee, he is also a CFA chartholder since 2001.



NabeelNabeel Rehman is an Analyst at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF).

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund is a UAE based Federal initiative supporting innovators in accessing financing through the provision of a government-backed guarantee. The AED 2 billion fund was launched during the 2nd edition of the UAE’s Innovation Week in November 2016.

His key responsibilities include market research, industry review, financial analysis and underwriting of innovative investment projects aimed at diversifying the UAE economy. 

Before joining MBRIF, Nabeel served as an Analyst in the UAE Corporate Banking sector.

Nabeel began his career over 4 years ago with Finance House PJSC where he gained expertise in corporate credit analysis and account management.

A Pakistani native that grew up in the UAE, Nabeel has witnessed over a decade of exponential growth of the UAE, thanks to the vision and forward-looking policies of country’s leadership.

Nabeel holds a Bachelor degree in Accountancy from the University of Wollongong in Dubai and is a 2017 Level II Candidate in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program.

Business Solutions Expert

Suhail Basit, Synechron, Senior Technology Director

suhailI believe technology, when harnessed optimally, will transform the way businesses are run and hence impact the larger society especially in a financially challenging climate.  It demands focus on details to isolate and solve business critical issues.  In my current role, I have set up Synechron's business in UAE.  We have since executed several strategic technology initiatives with strong focus on providing value to customers resulting in long term relationships.  Each day’s work involves two of the most interesting tasks – meet different people to learn about the business challenges they face and secondly to envision a solution to these challenges, solving business problems through best use of technology.

Digital Transformation Expert

Amir Atiatalla, YVOLV, Strategy and Corporate Development

AmirAmir Atiatalla is the Strategy Manager at YVOLV: Alibaba Cloud’s joint venture in the Middle East. In his capacity as Strategy Manager, he supports digital transformation roadmap for SMEs by analyzing the impact of new proposed initiatives and propose feasible implementation plans.

Strategy and Corporate Development

Digital PR and Marketing Expert

Tiberiu Iacomi, The Improbable Agency, CEO

tiberiuTiberiu is a digital PR & marketing professional focused on business strategy. He has worked on developing brand models and implementing CSR programs for tech, healthcare, FMCG and cultural organizations He applies data-driven approach to PR & marketing. This approach enhances the long-tail impact of campaigns beyond the ephemeral impressions, likes and views and towards perceptions, mindsets and actions

eCommerce Expert

Julia Jackle, Creative971, Co-founder & CEO

Nico Jackle, Creative 971, Co-founder & Head of Development

Julia Jackle and Nico Jackle are experts for Shopify E-Commerce and Marketing on- stop-solution platform.  They work with startups and SMEs to support them with A-Z solution for a flowing online business that includes payment gateway. Julia is graduated in Banking and Finance in Germany.  Nico is from electro technical background in Germany.

nico julia



Investment Expert

Ali Al-Salim, Arkan Partners, Co-Founder

Ali-Al-SalimAli Al-Salim has 15 years experience across private equity, hedge funds and direct investments. Ali is also an active member of the technology-startup ecosystem, mentoring and investing directly in fast-growing businesses across the GCC and Emerging Markets.

Banking Expert

Mahdi Kilani, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Head of Business Banking Division

mahdiMahdi brings with him over 35 years of experience in the field of SME Banking, Retail Banking, Microfinance, Project Finance and Strategy Consulting; gained across diversified geographies particularly in the GCC, Middle East and North Africa. His leadership style through a collaborative and tactful approach with his passion to deliver in a challenging business environment drives him in becoming a change leader with proven track record of establishing new businesses from scratch.  Mahdi’s current role at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is to oversee one of the major businesses of the Bank, Business Banking, focusing on Small and Medium Enterprises segments. He also is the Head of SME Committee at the UAE Banks Federation.




Al-SalemMohammed Omar Al-Salem is SVP-Head of Relationship Department in Business Banking Division (BBD). He possesses 18 years of banking experience out of which 13 years have been with Islamic banks.
Salem has been with ADIB for the last 10 years and is responsible for the SME business team of Relationship based finance all over the UAE. He currently has 4 Business hubs under his leadership. Prior to joining with ADIB, he has worked with Commercial Bank International-Dubai, Arab Banking Corporation-Jordan and Islamic International Arab Bank-Jordan in their respective credit/ risk departments.
Salem holds a Master’s Degree in banking and is also a Certified Risk Analyst (CRA) from the American Academy of Financial management.

B2B Growth Market Expert

Nicholas Watson, Naseba, Managing Director

nicolasSince 2003 Nicholas has helped hundreds of companies access growth markets both in the West and emerging economies.  With a focus on the B2B sector he has helped companies both large and small gain new client bases and access to investment capital.  As one of four founders of Naseba, a deal facilitation company, he has gained experience in all areas of building an international multicultural team with on the ground presence across the world.

Events, Innovation and Technology Expert

Philippe BLANCHARD, Senior Advisor

philippeInternational business developer able to bridge strategy and organization with the potential of information and communications technologies.  Former Director for the International Olympic Committee.  Bid Dossier and Organising Committee of Expo 2020 Dubai.”

Strategy Expert

Sayra Berirmen, Godiva, Strategy and Business Development Manager

sayraSayra has been involved in business modeling and design of startup incubation center at Yıldız Holding that adds overall value to the core business. Sayra’s area of expertise are business development, strategy assessment, business/financial analysis, synergy generation. Sayra is keen to share his experience and potentially explore opportunities to work with some of the SMEs/entrepreneurs and connect them to his company.

Technology Expert

Sherif Yossef, Oracle, Technology Client Advisor

sherifSherif has over 13 years in Europe, Middle East, Africa & Gulf specially UAE where he acquired skill set that provides direction and specialist knowledge in innovations, transformations & application of technology to businesses. 

Legal Expert

Suzanna Kalendzhian, Legal Advice Middle East, Founder

suzSuzanna Kalendzhian is the Founder of - an online legal services marketplace connecting consumers and lawyers across the UAE and the Middle East. She holds Master’s degree in International Commercial Law (LLM, Hon.) and Master’s degree in Marketing. 



Majed AlSuwaidi

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