SMEs in technology, F&B and healthcare sectors awarded for innovative strategies leading to fast growth

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 29 September 2019 – Gulf Capital has unveiled the winners of the 8th Gulf Capital SME Awards 2019 at a gala dinner hosted at The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC. 17 SMEs across the technology, F&B and healthcare sectors were recognised for implementing innovative techniques and strategies that lead to business growth and rapid expansion.

The UAE continues to be the preferred location for SMEs to flourish as the number of new companies entering the market has increased by 30% in the last decade, according to a recent report by Diligencia, Gulf Capital and MEED. The number of new companies in the technology sector has increased dramatically over the last five years from 11% of new SMEs in the UAE during 2015 to 47% during 2018,* testament to the commitment local organisations have to be at the forefront of innovation.

The healthcare industry has also grown consistently over the last 10 years with a significant peak in 2018. Many of these new SMEs are recognizing the strength of the UAE’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector, especially in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.*

This year, the awards, which recognise new and existing SME businesses, received a record number of 300 applications from companies and entrepreneurs across 17 categories.

Commenting on the accolades, Dr. Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital said, “SMEs are the driving force of the UAE’s economy, as they constitute over 90% of all the organisations in the country. We are pleased to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the SMEs that continue to fuel the growth of the UAE economy and are displaying world-class capabilities by being champions of growth and innovation. Gulf Capital is proud to be sponsoring this SME Award programme and to be celebrating and backing these promising SMEs.”

“Entrepreneurs and small companies are the drivers of the future success of this region,” says MEED editorial director Richard Thompson. “SMEs account for over 90 per cent of the companies in the market and their energy, creativity and risk taking not only will drive growth and create wealth, but it also will be a source of innovations to tackle climate change, services that create healthier and happier societies, and careers that develop knowledge and skills. Through these awards, MEED is supporting SMEs in the UAE by celebrating their finest achievements. And even if they have not won an award on the night, every company participating in the Gulf Capital SME Awards 2019 is a winner and should be applauded for the contribution it is making to the future of this region.”

The complete list of winners include:

  • Gulf Capital Business of the Year – Electric Way

Electric Way is one of the fastest growing distributors of the electrical items in Dubai, providing energy solutions to leading companies in the UAE and GCC.

  • Business Innovation of the Year – Accumed

Accumed is the first, and largest, company in the Middle East to provide comprehensive end-to-end revenue cycle management solutions to the healthcare sector.

  • B2B Small Business of the Year – Parisima Talent

Parisima is a strategic talent advisory and delivery business enabling clients to improve their performance through better talent acquisition.

  • B2C Small Business of the Year – The Camel Soap Factory

The Camel Soap Factory produces sustainable and environmentally sensitive natural skincare products using locally sourced camel milk.

  • Business Leader of the Year – Kain Clark-Darby, Managing Director of Parisima Talent

Parisima is a strategic talent advisory and delivery business enabling clients to improve their performance through better talent acquisition.

  • CSR Programme of the Year – Blissart

Blissart enables the community by providing artists, buyers and art enthusiasts with a platform that challenges the traditional art market.

  • Customer Focus of the Year – Leelas Lunches

Leela’s lunches is in the business of shaping the palates of the future generation, towards real and whole foods.

  • Digital Business of the Year – TechKnowledge

TechKnowledge is the leading specialised electronic information solutions provider in the Middle East.

  • Disruption of the Year – FEDS – Drone-powered Solutions

FEDS are the industry leaders in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) commonly referred to as ‘Drones’.

  • Emirati Business of the Year – ixtel technologies

 ixtel is a leading  digital services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations.

  • Entrepreneur of the Year – Sky Kurtz, Co-founder & CEO of Pure Harvest Smart Farms

Pure Harvest invests in world-leading controlled-environment agriculture technologies to deliver their customers with the best quality produce.

  • MEED Editors Award for InclusivityDirect Access

Direct Access are experts in access for people of determination.

  • Micro Business of the Year –

Right Doors connects the dots and matches the right buyers or sellers with the right property.

  • New Entrepreneur of the Year – Adel Abu-Aysha, Founder & CEO of bubble-bro

bubble-bro is the UAE’s only Soda Maker supplier with an in-house cylinder exchange facility and program.

  • People and Culture of the Year – Ecocoast

 Ecocoast exists to develop pioneering solutions for sustainable coastal and marine developments.

  • Start-up Business of the Year – Pure Harvest Smart Farms

Pure Harvest invests in world-leading controlled-environment agriculture technologies to deliver their customers with the best quality produce.

  • Sustainable Business of the Year – Phanes Group

Phanes Group is an international solar energy developer, investment manager and asset manager.

*Source: SMEs in the UAE – Research Report by Diligencia in partnership with Gulf Capital and MEED.

About MEED

MEED is a senior management media brand, its flagship subscription products are the MEED Business Review publication and website, As well as organising the MEED Projects Awards, Gulf Capital SME Awards, Daman Corporate Health Awards and the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC).

MEED also has two high-value content businesses, MEED Projects and MEED Premium Insight Reports. MEED Projects is the Middle East’s premium project tracking database and MEED Premium Insight Reports offer tailored research and in-depth analysis. Established in 1957, MEED, has been integral to delivering business information and news, intelligence and analysis on the Middle East economies and activities ever since.   
MEED celebrated its 60th birthday in 2017. From small beginnings in a London flat on 8 March 1957, MEED has grown with the region, to become the Middle East’s most-trusted source of business information.

About Gulf Capital

Gulf Capital is one of the leading alternative asset management firms in the Middle East, investing across several asset classes including Private Equity, Private Debt and Real Estate. The Firm currently manages over AED 11 billion (US$3 billion) of assets across 8 funds and investment vehicles. Gulf Capital’s mission is to grow capital and build value with world-class expertise and best practices to generate sustainable superior performance for all stakeholders. It invests its own capital alongside its fund investors’ capital in all of the funds it launches. With its private equity, private debt and real estate initiatives, Gulf Capital is today one of the largest and most diversified alternative asset managers in the Middle East. The Firm has received numerous Middle Eastern and international awards, including “Best Private Equity Firm”, “Best SMEs Credit Fund”, “Best Alternative Asset Management Firm” and “Best Private Debt Provider in the Middle East.

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