Saudi Steel Pipe Co. secures $24 million contract with Uruguayan Tenaris Global

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s small and medium enterprise sector continues to show a growth trajectory in the first half of 2022, as the Kingdom continues to foster entrepreneurship and drive investment in startups and small businesses as part of Vision 2030.

The number of SMEs registered in Saudi Arabia reached 892,063 at the end of June, registering a 25.6% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises.

Riyadh and Makkah were the most attractive regions for startups, accounting for 35.4% and 21% of SMEs in the Kingdom, respectively, according to Monsha’at’s quarterly SME Monitor report.

The Eastern Province was ranked third with 12.7% of the total SMEs in Saudi Arabia.

Micro-enterprises dominate the SME sector

Micro-enterprises accounted for 81% of registered SMEs in the Kingdom, each generating revenue of up to SR3 million ($800,000) a year and employing up to five staff members, according to the report.

He further noted that the Saudi private sector employs a total of 9,065,648 people, with 43.4% in Riyadh, followed by 19.7% and 19.9% ​​respectively in Makkah and the eastern provinces. .

F&B sector

SMEs operating in the food and beverage sector continued to attract investor interest, as these companies received more funding than all others in the first half of 2022.

F&B SMEs secured investments worth SR702 million in the first half of the year, according to MAGNiTT’s Saudi Arabia venture capital report.

Saudi startup FOODICS, which offers restaurant management software, digital payments and micro-loans, led the growth of the F&B sector by raising SR638 million in April 2022.

“In the last quarter alone, we have seen new German, Greek, Italian, French, American, British and Emirati restaurants, cafes, concepts and chains open across Saudi Arabia,” said Bandr bin Abdullah Alobied, vice -governor of Monsha’at. for the strategy.

He added: “The Saudis themselves are proud of their own traditions and more eager than ever to support national concepts. Local entrepreneurs who have entered the F&B space have found a receptive clientele eager to support local chains.

Female entrepreneurship

The report also revealed that Saudi Arabia has succeeded in reducing the gender gap in the Kingdom, as 45% of SMEs are now led by women.

Regulatory reforms in the first half of 2022 have played a crucial role in increasing the number of women entrepreneurs in the country. Most of these women run businesses in the food, wholesale and retail, health and professional sectors, and support service industries.

“Vision 2030’s ambitious targets for women’s participation in the labor market have already been achieved long before the Kingdom’s initial targets. As thousands of smart, creative and highly motivated new women enter the workplace every year, women-led SMEs will continue to transform the wider economy, Alobied added.

Women’s total labor force participation in Saudi Arabia rose to 33.6% in the first quarter of 2022, from 20.5% in the same period of 2019, when most countries around the world saw a drop in participation women.

In the report, Monsha’at added that the unemployment rate for women in the Kingdom fell to 21.2% in the first quarter of this year from 31.7% in the same period in 2019.

SME ecosystem

Alobied pointed out that the SME ecosystem is on a transition path, with startups and entrepreneurs in the Kingdom emerging as the second best-funded in the Middle East and North Africa region in the first six months. of the year.

“The country as a whole is embracing the private sector like never before. On the one hand, it’s because we have one of the most business-friendly and progressive governments in the world. On the other hand, we have a huge demographic advantage,” he said.

Alobied added: “Saudi Arabia’s population is young, educated, prosperous and growing. When I see how innovative, tech-driven, and resourceful our people are, I have no doubt that the country will continue to confuse observers everywhere for the better.

Comments are closed.