Corporate executives gathered in the United Arab Emirates just days ago to discuss the rise of peer-to-peer lending for small businesses in the region, reports said. Capital Club, a member of the Enshaa corporate group, held a panel on the topic led by major players in the financial, digital and legal industries.
The head of Beehive Group, one of the UAE’s first digital P2P lending marketplaces, reportedly discussed the impact of a recent government decision to support small businesses and facilitate their access to working capital through alternative lenders. According to Beehive chairman Rick Pudner, small businesses view P2P lending as faster and more flexible for their needs compared with the process of obtaining a traditional bank loan.
“[Beehive] offers SMEs a really efficient turnaround time in terms of time-to-market, and very efficient pricing,” Pudner said during the panel discussion.“The savings that we’ve seen on the platform so far have been quite remarkable from traditional bank financing.”
The head of tech startup pixelbug, Dany El Eid, agreed, and highlighted the ease of access to these lending options for small businesses. “As a business owner, my priority is to make sure we have a healthy cash flow,” he said, adding that up to 80 percent of startups fall victim to the so-called “Valley of Death,” the cash flow gap that he said Beehive can fill. “That’s where we feel that Beehive was able to secure us quick access to capital and give us more breathing space while we raise more long-term investment from venture capitals.”
Because small businesses account for about 95 percent of all businesses in Dubai, reports said, facilitating access to loans beyond the traditional bank benefits the entire economy.
Also in attendance at the discussion were Jones Day lawyer Patrick Rogers and Capital Club Member and Envestors Mena founder David Moleshead, who moderated the panel.