Saudi Women: A Different Picture
Saudi Arabia has claimed that women own 45% of the start-up companies in the Kingdom. In its latest report, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monsha’at) has mentioned that start-up companies, owned by women, reached 45% of total such companies in the first half of 2022, almost double the percentage recorded in 2017.
According to the Saudi Authorities, there is an increase in women’s participation in business because of their empowerment, especially in the world of entrepreneurship. It proves that the competitive advantage of small and medium enterprises can be enhanced through skill development programmes and the integration of technology into business operations, mentioned the Saudi Government in a statement.
As per official data published by the General Authority, the number of small and medium-sized enterprises was 892,063 in the West Asian nation by the end of June 2022, an increase of 25.6% compared to the final quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, the food and beverage sector received the highest amount of investment, USD 178 million, in January-June 2022. The volume of total investment in start-up companies jumped 244% to reach USD 580 million during this period on an annual basis.
The Saudi coffee-manufacturing sector, too, has performed well in recent times. Currently, the Kingdom has 400,000 coffee trees, and this sector could attract a total investment of around USD 319 million over the next decade.
The Saudi Authorities have already started promoting entrepreneurship on its soil and foreign investments in an attempt to diversify its economy. This move is aimed at reducing the dependence of the National Economy on oil.
In 2021, the contribution of the non-oil sector to the National Economy was 60.2% of the GDP, as per the data published by the Saudi Statistics Authority.
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