x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Following their dreams while driving along the economy

Companies say small business boomed this year compared to last - despite ongoing issues surrounding access to credit.

Companies say small business boomed this year compared with last - despite ongoing issues surrounding access to credit.

Existing customers were able to get better terms and conditions and favourable rates, but securing funding proved to be more of a struggle for new entrepreneurs.

"Banks were a bit selective towards new customers/SMEs [when] considering the credit facilities," said Jitendra Gianchandani, the chairman and managing partner of Jitendra Consulting Group.

However, more competitive suppliers and an improved business environment meant it was an easier time to start a company.

"I think it's much steadier than last year. We are seeing an improvement," said Rachael Wunsch, the chief executive of Al Tamimi Investments.

"It's a much easier time to be launching a business than it was back in the boom."

Mohamed Parham Al Awadhi, a co-founder of the UAE shawarma restaurant chain Wild Peeta, says small businesses have enjoyed a "renaissance" this year.

"On one hand all those big businesses started to cut down on their spending and those people [who were laid off] went out and they followed their dreams. They started their small businesses," he said.

"Small businesses are driving everything that's great in the economy."

gduncan@thenational.ae

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