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Saudi Arabia’s SMEs witness growth of 3.5% during Q3

The growth of SMEs in the kingdom is fuelled by the economic diversification efforts.

Saudi Arabia’s SMEs witness growth of 3.5% during Q3
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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The number of SMEs in Saudi Arabia reached 1.27 million by Q3, driven by the kingdom’s efforts to diversify its economy away from oil. A report by the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at) indicates a 3.5% increase compared to Q2 2023.

According to the report, over 40,000 new businesses were launched in Saudi Arabia in Q3, with 43.3% of SMEs in Riyadh. Progress has been noted in SMEs in the Al-Qassim province, particularly in the mining and agriculture sectors, with 60,000 SMEs and 105 active mining licenses.

“While its mining industry produces 4 million tons of bauxite each year, the only such source in the Middle East, the region’s farmers produce 1.22 million tons of dates, lemons, oranges, grapes, and other agricultural products each year, giving credence to its nickname as the breadbasket of the kingdom,” notes Monsha’at.

During Q3 2023, the private sector played a significant role in fueling Saudi Arabia’s economy, with private sector investments in SMEs experiencing a year-on-year growth of 18.8%, amounting to $70 billion.

“The kingdom’s robust non-oil growth is a symptom of a rapidly maturing ecosystem whose entrepreneurs are now driving Saudi Arabia’s ambitious diversification targets,” noted Monsha’at.

Additionally, the report highlighted the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program played a crucial role in bringing more SMEs into the industrial and manufacturing sectors during Q3.

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