Saudi entrepreneurs get $27bn funding as SMEs grow by 15% in Q1
Saudi entrepreneurs received funding worth SR100.02 billion ($27 billion) in the first quarter as the number of small and medium-size businesses operating in the Kingdom rose by 15 percent, according to a government report.
The number of SMEs in the Kingdom increased to 755,979 in the first three months of the year from 650,550 a year ago, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, also known as Monsha’at.
The SMEs received the funds through Monsha’at services led
primarily by its Kafalah program, which guaranteed SR64.6 billion in secured
loans to entrepreneurs.
“SMEs must have their basic needs fulfilled,” Saleh
Alrasheed, the governor of Monsha’at, said in a statement.
“They need streamlined bureaucracy, lower fees, and the
ability to compete in the market. We are ensuring that SMEs get the support
they need, and that growth is transformed into sustainable business models.”
According to the report, over 260,000 SMEs employ more than
3.2 million people in Riyadh alone, which makes the city the most dynamic in
the region for the growth of small businesses.
Over the course of the four-day event, SR51.8 billion worth of deals were signed, along with over 10 rounds of financing for Saudi startups.