Aramex and Mastercard partner to launch ScaleUp platform and enable SME growth

October 12, 2023 | Dubai, UAE

AED 250,000 Grant Offered to UAE’s Most Promising Startup

Dubai, UAE – Thursday, 12th  October 2023: Aramex, a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, and Mastercard, a global technology company in the payments industry, have announced a partnership to launch the inaugural edition of a new platform called ScaleUp, designed to support the UAE’s startup and small and medium enterprise (SME) community.

Launched in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy’s The Entrepreneurial Nation, ScaleUp presents an exciting opportunity for startups and SMEs in the UAE to pitch innovative ideas and stand a chance to win AED 250,000 (US$68,000), the opportunity to meet with angel investors and several additional benefits including marketing exposure. Furthermore, the finalists, as well as a select number of participants, will be invited to attend an exclusive ScaleUp networking event in November 2023.

The initiative builds on the companies’ efforts to empower SMEs and entrepreneurs. Mastercard has committed to bringing 50 million SMEs into the digital economy by 2025. Most recently, the technology company partnered with Women Choice to support for women entrepreneurs and help create 1 million jobs for women in the Arab world. Aramex believes in the importance of enabling and assisting entrepreneurs to create their own opportunities as part of its continuous efforts to understand SME needs and providing them with the required support and services.

Through this initiative, the industry leaders further extend their support to fuel the UAE’s SME sector. ScaleUp supports the UAE’s ambition to become home to 20 unicorns by 2031, with SMEs already representing 94% of companies and institutions operating in the country and contributing more than 50% to its GDP[1].

Commenting on the initiative, Tarek Abu Yaghi, General Manager of Aramex in the UAE, said: "We are thrilled to launch the inaugural edition of ScaleUp – a unique initiative and competition that seeks to transform the future of industries and economies in the region through startup-led innovation. As a startup born out of the region's entrepreneurial ambitions several decades ago, we fully understand the unique challenges SMEs will likely encounter on their path to success. The UAE's SME sector is pivotal in driving the region's economic growth. It is our privilege at Aramex to offer the incredible growth opportunity and competitive advantage that the ScaleUp platform brings to the vast and talented pool of SMEs in the UAE, building on our illustrious history of nurturing the region's startup scene."

Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa (EEMEA), at Mastercard, said: "Joining forces with Aramex was a natural choice for us given our shared goal of promoting entrepreneurship and supporting the growth of startups in the UAE. At Mastercard, we believe that empowering small businesses is key for an economy to survive and thrive."

Get Involved

Businesses and startups participating in ScaleUp can visit the official event link at to submit their ideas and entries before the 25 October 2023  for evaluation by an expert panel of jurors, selected by Aramex and Mastercard. The panel will include Fadi Ghandour, Executive Chairman of Wamda and Founder of Aramex, as well as Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, EEMEA at Mastercard.

Entrants can register for free by answering simple questions and submitting a short video on the competition's dedicated landing page about why their business deserves to win.

The winner will be announced at the ScaleUp 2023 networking event. The winner will receive AED250,000, an invitation to an exclusive angel investors lunch, marketing exposure, business mentorship and preferential rates for logistics services. In addition, during the event, the winner, runners-up and select participants will also have the chance connect, collaborate, and engage with peers and industry experts.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

Follow us on Twitter: @MastercardMEA and @MastercardNews