Careem launches bus service between Jeddah and Makkah

Careem has expanded operations to the Kingdom beginning with a direct bus link between Jeddah and Makkah.
Updated 15 May 2019
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Careem launches bus service between Jeddah and Makkah

Careem Bus has launched in Saudi Arabia, with Jeddah as the first city of operations and a direct service from Jeddah to Makkah. 

Following the successful launch of Careem Bus in Egypt in December last year, Careem has expanded operations to the Kingdom, with a journey between the two cities costing SR25 ($6) each way. The service comes as part of Careem’s commitment to solving transportation issues, improving mobility and creating jobs.

The route has been approved by the Saudi Public Transport Authority. 

Hadeer Shalaby, director of Careem Bus, said: “Careem Bus will revolutionize mass transportation across Saudi Arabia and bring a new level of sophistication and price to our customers. The 13-seater service has been a huge success in Egypt, easing traffic flows and providing a safe and efficient way to commute. Through our superior technology, the app-based service is as seamless as ride-hailing a car, allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of our tech as well as enjoying cheaper travel and reducing traffic on the roads.”

Customers will be able to check the availability of the bus using the app, monitor its arrival and secure a seat. Walk-on passengers will also be accepted. The service is currently cash only, but soon passengers will be able to pay with several payment methods, such as the Careem wallet on the app or a registered credit card. 

The service operates through a separate app from the ride-hailing app and is available for download on iOS and Android. Customers are able to pick the bus that best suits their travel time and will be able to track the bus as it arrives, the same as when ordering a Careem car.

The buses are provided in partnership with vendors who employ the captains, paying them a fixed monthly salary. Fares collected by the Careem Bus captains go to Careem, while Careem pays the bus vendors a fixed daily amount, regardless of the number of trips they make.

“The introduction of Careem Bus will help Saudi Arabia with the Vision 2030 plan for smart cities, contributing to app-based integrated transport options. It also helps the government achieve its ambitions to reduce pollution and ease congestion, as every Careem Bus has the potential to represent 13 fewer cars on the road,” a statement said. 

The service will initially start with 13-seater buses.


360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

Updated 23 May 2019
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360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

The King Khalid Foundation (KKF) and Mowgli Mentoring have collaborated to strengthen the growing social enterprise sector in the Kingdom through the provision of 360-degree mentoring, which will support the personal and professional development of social entrepreneurs. The EMCC-accredited mentoring organization is working to built the capacity of Saudi mentors by instilling best mentoring practices and sharing experiences from its 10-year work around the world.

Globally, the concept of social entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining momentum and positive attention as it combines commerce with social good, allowing entrepreneurs to go beyond profit to positively impact communities and societies. Supporting these entrepreneurs, therefore, is in line with the KKF’s vision, which is to have a Saudi society with equal opportunities.

The KKF’s collaboration with Mowgli resulted in the creation of the Athar (Impact) Mentoring Program.

This program aims to build and increase the capacity of Saudi mentors, and equip them with the necessary tools to be able to provide mentorship, support and guidance to social entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Matching mentors with social entrepreneurs and managing their mentorship relationships is a key benefit of the program.

To commence the mentoring program, Mowgli recently delivered a four-day workshop in the KKF premises in Riyadh. Fourteen professionals and business leaders received training to be 360-degree mentors before being matched with 14 social entrepreneurs. Both groups were provided with the guidelines to build solid foundations for their 1-2-1 mentoring relationships. In addition, the matched pairs will be supported over a duration of six months, during which structured on-going support will be provided to ensure that trust-based and impactful mentoring relationships are developed.

Mowgli Mentoring’s CEO Kathleen Bury said: “We see this program supporting the three themes on which the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 was built upon: Developing a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. By supporting social entrepreneurs, we’re working toward achieving the Kingdom’s economic aspirations of increasing SME GDP contribution by 20–30 percent by 2030. We are, therefore, excited to be back in Saudi Arabia and are honored to be working with the King Khalid Foundation in delivering this program, and building Saudi Arabia’s mentoring capacity to sustainably support change-makers and their surrounding ecosystems for years to come.”

The key to developing entrepreneurship and fostering economic development lies in having a well-balanced ecosystem with equal investment in four key pillars: Environment (schooling, parenting), finance (working capital, debt and equity financing), infrastructure (incubators, accelerators, utilities and sound legal frameworks) and human capital development (mentoring, skills and knowledge development). Mowgli supports the latter and has successfully delivered more than 110 mentoring programs across the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.