The General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monsha’at) in Saudi Arabia has released its quarterly report, the SME Monitor, stating that the Biban 23 forum held in Riyadh in March, which focused on SMEs and entrepreneurship, drew in more than 145,000 participants and facilitated the creation of agreements worth $13. 8 billion. The report also revealed that the number of SMEs in Saudi Arabia grew by 4.8 % in the first quarter of 2023, reaching 1. 2 million.
According to the latest report, the first quarter of 2023 has seen the launch of 88,858 new small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), attributed mainly to the robust growth of the private sector. The capital city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, is home to more than 41% of the total SMEs in the country, indicating a thriving business environment. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the economy in Riyadh will continue to grow at a rate of over 3. 1% this year.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the Kingdom’s economy, including special sections on Monsha’at partners and services, the impact of Biban 23 in March, and an economic survey of Madinah Munawwarah Province. It focuses on the SME Bank, which began operations in December 2022 and covers its efforts to collaborate with subsidiaries such as Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) and the Kafalah loan guarantee program to provide new financing opportunities to SMEs. In addition, the report highlights vital Monsha’at services, such as SME Support Centers and the Nawafth Mobile App, as well as new partnerships between Monsha’at Academy and Abdul Latif Jameel Finance, GoDaddy, and SEDCO Holding.
The report includes a specific part that discusses Biban 23. This is because the forum was the location of this year’s final round of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC), a worldwide startup pitch competition involving individuals from more than 200 countries. The report also provides essential information about WhiteHelmet, a construction startup based in Riyadh, which was declared the winner of this year’s EWC.
The publication of the report is part of a larger framework of economic expansion in Saudi Arabia, where numerous Saudi business owners are taking advantage of various new programs and facilitation policies aimed at promoting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to contribute 35% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the year 2030.