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Saudi Arabia launches program to support entrepreneurship in the country

The two-year program will be made up of four cycles

Saudi Arabia launches program to support entrepreneurship in the country
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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With a slew of business-friendly policies, measures, and initiatives, Saudi Arabia aims to be a global hub for entrepreneurship and startups.

That the kingdom has a thriving business environment driven by a host of favorable policies and initiatives is well-known. Now, to foster innovative entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, known as Monsha’at, has announced an entrepreneurship acceleration program in Riyadh. 

It’s a collaboration between the Riyadh governorate and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to boost the region’s entrepreneurial sector while noting its strengths and weaknesses. It will host management activities that support the growth of innovation regionally. The two-year program will be made up of four cycles.  

Established in 2016, Monsha’at’s earlier initiative received participation from the Eastern Province, Makkah, and Madinah regions, creating an entrepreneurship boom. In April, the authority partnered with the Silicon Valley Innovation Center to launch a dedicated program for fast-growing enterprises, targeting 50 for three months. The firms chosen were allowed to sharpen their abilities with experts from Silicon Valley.  

Furthermore, in March Monsha’at Governor Sami Al-Hussaini said that the authority offered financing solutions worth $60.7 billion to SMEs in 2022. This action led to significant expansion in the kingdom’s SME sector, placing them second in ranking on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report for that year. 

The number of SMEs in Saudi surpassed 1 million in 2022 and created more than 6.2 million jobs. Additionally, during Q4 of 2022, the kingdom saw a 6% quarter-on-quarter growth in the number of SMEs.

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