• | 12:00 pm

Saudi Arabia’s SMEs get $2.7 billion boost

The funds have allowed them to expand operations and innovate.

Saudi Arabia’s SMEs get $2.7 billion boost
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Now accepting applications for Fast Company Middle East’s Most Innovative Companies. Click here to apply.

In Saudi Arabia, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have received a big push after the country’s SME Bank allocated $2.7 billion in funding in the first half of 2023. 

The funds have allowed them to expand operations and innovate while working towards economic diversification and promoting entrepreneurship throughout the kingdom. 

This is an extension of the effective partnership between the banking sector and investment agencies.

During the first half of 2023, the SME Bank’s financing initiatives, including its dedicated financing portal, amassed $7.4 million across 720 establishments, with $6.4 million coming from the portal.

Sectors that oversaw the most benefit were wholesale trade, construction, contracting, and administration. Other industries, such as retail trade, health, and public services, also received support.

Meanwhile, funding support via the Small and Medium Enterprises Loan Guarantee Program rose to $1.4 billion, with 2,839 enterprises benefiting from the initiative. Similarly, the Saudi Venture Capital Co. participated with 34 funds to aid in the growth of over 600 establishments. 

The SME Bank has collaborated with multiple financial institutions, generating $30.1 million through co-financing programs and over $11.5 million via indirect lending channels.

On the other hand, low-cost financing partnerships with financial companies facilitated more than $22.1 million, while agreements with fintech firms brought proxy financing worth over $3.4 million. 

The SME industry is expected to reduce unemployment rates from 11.6% to 7% and boost women’s participation in the workforce from 22% to 30%.

More Top Stories: