Lifestyle and retail destination Meydan One has announced a partnership with SMEDistrict, the Dubai-based incubation platform, aiming to bring to life a comprehensive start-up development programme focused on the retail and F&B sectors.
The initiative aligns with Meydan One’s strategic priority to offer opportunities for up-and-coming entrepreneurs in F&B to establish and grow their brands. SMEDistrict will oversee the new incubation programme, which will begin receiving applications for monthly or annual memberships from Q4 2019.
Participating entrepreneurs will be able to rent retail space at premium locations in Meydan One at extremely competitive commercial terms. In addition, the start-ups will have access to a range of support services and benefits across four stages of the programme.
“Dubai is spearheading the region’s innovation drive and attracting some of the best start-up talent from around the world. Meydan One is committed to supporting this wave of entrepreneurship, especially in the retail and F&B segments, which are largely overlooked in the local start-up incubation ecosystem,” says Fahad Abdulrahim Kazim, vice president of Meydan Malls at Meydan Group.
Support services will include mentoring through offering guidance on brand image and positioning as well as the overall sales and marketing strategy, in addition to evaluation through providing quarterly benchmarking on key performance indicators and areas of improvement.
Plus, graduation, which involves leading the successfully incubated businesses to the next phase of development as a fully operational F&B concept, while assisting them with technology adoption, franchising plans and strategic partnerships for expansion.
“We’re pleased to collaborate with Meydan One on this exciting new incubation programme. The initiative levels the playing field through providing start-ups with a tangible platform to position their brands. In other words, it allows them to skip the line on entrepreneurial hurdles, such as accessible infrastructure and guidance, that can prevent great business concepts from becoming a reality,” says Aynour Hussein, founder and CEO of SMEDistrict.
The incubation programme will encompass a fully enabled plug-and-play package, including marketing, fit-out, space rental, business development, workshops and business education, as well as business acceleration opportunities to connect with established private sector organisations and government entities.
As part of the Meydan One tenant community, the start-ups will also feature in the destination’s events and have the chance to showcase their offerings at prominent entrepreneurship festivals across the UAE.