HUAWEI CLOUD has announced the launch of “Spark”, a new startup ecosystem support program aiming at empowering SMEs to develop their cloud capabilities. This initiative is the first step towards supporting HUAWEI CLOUD partners in line with the recently launched Oasis Program, where Huawei announced plans to invest USD15 million over the next three years to accelerate the development of technology enterprises and ecosystems in the Middle East.
Spark will support more than 50 SMEs, each will receive up to $15,000 fund support on HUAWEI CLOUD in addition to cloud training during the first phase of the program. A select group of SMEs will then join Spark Accelerate Program, where they will receive further technical support from HUAWEI CLOUD experts to help transform their businesses in the cloud and evolve their offerings.
Frank Dai, President of HUAWEI CLOUD Middle East, said: “SMEs play a prominent role in Middle East economies, where they contribute by far the largest share of national economic output. However, they face unique challenges, including a shortage of a skilled digital workforce and a lack of resources to digitize operations. By empowering more SMEs to succeed through Spark and similar programs, we can jointly cultivate an even stronger technology ecosystem in the Middle East.”
SMEs are the backbone of the global economy and are essential contributors to job creation and economic growth. According to the World Bank, small businesses represent about 90% of all businesses worldwide and more than 50% of employment opportunities. In the region, 99% of the Saudi private sector consists of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and 70% of the country’s workforce. Similarly, the SME sector represents more than 94% of all companies operating in the UAE and provides jobs for more than 86% of the private sector’s workforce.
Digitization is a game-changer for the SME sector, contributing to significant revenue boost and business resilience. A whitepaper by UAE’s Ministry of Economy revealed that digital technologies had helped 76% of UAE SMEs attract new customers, 65% were able to generate cost savings, and 50% were able to access new markets. For example, 45% of SMEs accepting digital payments recorded an increase in sales averaging +12% and could process payments seven times faster than non-digital payments.
HUAWEI CLOUD delivers a smart experience for people, cities, and enterprises in all scenarios, as part of Huawei’s commitment to providing reliable, secure, and cost-effective cloud services to empower applications and help organizations of all sizes grow in today’s intelligent world. To support a wider cloud rollout, Huawei has unveiled several programs to help the region cultivate digital experts and build the local ecosystem. It recently announced a support program for developing 3,000 cloud experts in the region as part of the HUAWEI CLOUD Oasis Program.
The Oasis Program includes $7.5 million to be allocated for partner development, over USD2.5 million to be put behind credits and other cloud resources, and more than USD4.5 million in marketing support for program projects. According to Gartner, HUAWEI CLOUD ranks as the No. 5 IaaS cloud service provider globally, with a growth rate exceeding 200% between 2019-2020.