Dubai: Lack of financial acumen was identified as a key barrier to entrepreneurial success at the 18th edition of the TECOM SME Builder, organised by Dubai Knowledge Village, on 18 October.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are often founded and run by skilled and motivated entrepreneurs but a limited knowledge of proper financial management is what can make or break a business. Critical concepts and tools that revolve around profitability, cash flows, business value, and budgets are open to misinterpretation. When finance is not understood, the right decisions are not taken, according to Binod Shankar, Managing Director, Genesis Institute.
Shankar’s comments came during his presentation ‘Top Ten Myths in SME Finance’ at the latest TECOM SME Builder by Dubai Knowledge Village, the region’s premier destination for human resource management and a member of TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster. The event identified practical solutions to crucial issues faced by small and medium business owners with a view to improving long-term profitability.
According to Shankar, awareness is essential for building a successful business. His presentation highlighted and dispelled some of the top myths in SME finance, such as ‘business planning is a waste of time’, ‘auditing is a luxury’, ‘sales is the most important number’ and ‘SMEs cannot get funding and hence growth is difficult’.
The SME Builder session also featured Corrina Cross, Learning and Development Consultant at The People People, a division of Strategy Marketing. Cross gave a presentation titled ‘Mind Your Language… are your words helping or hindering your business?’ Elaborating on the impact of language on businesses, Cross said: “The words you use give away more information about yourself than you think. People around you can get to know what is going on in your head simply by listening to the words you use. It’s important to ‘read between the lines’ to learn more about yourself and others. Controlling your ‘inner’ voice can help achieve greater success in your business…negative language could impact results”.
The presentations were followed by networking sessions, where attendees had access to a panel of experts from various fields including communications and body language, marketing, branding, customer service, strategy, sales, people development, networking and referrals, innovation, online advertising, finance and talent management.
Branding expert Charmaine D’Souza, Founder and Design Director, AECA, said: “The SME Builder is a fantastic platform for business owners to interact with specialists in varied fields and gain complimentary advice. It was an enriching experience to help business owners understand the value of branding in today’s market and gain solutions to their issues.” The 18th SME Builder was supported by partners including Bayt.com and SME Advisor Middle East.
The TECOM SME Builder is open to SME owners and individuals aiming to launch their own business venture. The quarterly workshops deal with subjects of import for daily operational issues and offering knowledge with potential to be immediately applied to the business environment.
TECOM Investments, a member of Dubai Holding, regularly hosts events that support and encourage the growth of businesses in the region. TECOM Business Parks offer a favourable ecosystem for SMEs through shaping and enabling an environment that guarantees the sector’s long term growth.