Home / Economy / Mastercard SME Confidence Index: The 80 per cent of the UAE SMEs project similar or increased revenue in 2023

Mastercard SME Confidence Index: The 80 per cent of the UAE SMEs project similar or increased revenue in 2023

From surviving to thriving in the post-COVID-19 world, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE are optimistic about the rest of 2023. These are the findings of the second edition of the Mastercard Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EEMEA) SME Confidence Index.

The inaugural SME Confidence Index delved into the impact of the pandemic on SMEs across sectors, products, and services and how they are embracing a digital future. As a continuation, the second edition of the survey has revealed that small businesses in the UAE are confident about business growth, with omnichannel payments presenting the biggest opportunity.

As companies recover from the pandemic and return to the growth phase, the research shows that 80 per cent of SMEs in the UAE project similar or increased revenue in 2023.

SMEs in the UAE are optimistic about the future.

Almost three-quarters of the country’s SMEs are confident about business growth this year as compared to 2022.

To further optimise growth, the survey highlights the top areas for support required by SMEs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – training and upskilling staff (93 per cent), and better telco infrastructure (91 per cent). Other areas of support include better data and insights and mentoring by industry experts.

Access to omnichannel payment services is among top drivers of growth

SMEs in the UAE have identified accepting omnichannel digital payments (92 per cent), training and upskilling staff (91 per cent), digitising business operations (90 per cent) and better data, analytics and insights (90 per cent) as the main drivers of growth.

The adoption of digital payment solutions is on the rise in the UAE, with 88 per cent of consumers in the region having used at least one emerging payment method in the last year.

Mastercard works as a trusted partner of the country’s government in enabling small businesses to go digital, driving economic equality and inclusive prosperity. The company has pledged to connect 50 million SMEs worldwide to the digital economy by 2025.

More than half of SMEs in the UAE are conscious of the rising cost of doing business

As markets navigate an increasingly dynamic economic landscape, SMEs in the UAE continue to face several challenges. Over 42 per cent of SMEs surveyed in the UAE find insufficient access to credit as a difficulty to growth, and 65 per cent believe that the cost of goods and services is rising, with 65 per cent of SMEs still feeling the lingering fallout of the pandemic (66 per cent). Over 61 per cent of SMEs think these are significant contributors to the rising cost of doing business.

Mastercard leverages its extensive network, state-of-the-art technology, and global partnerships to help SMEs adapt to changing commercial environments and new spending patterns. The company works with governments and the private sector to build synergies that advance financial inclusion and motivate consumers and merchants to support small businesses.

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