Saudi entrepreneurs achieve high success rate, only 16% fail

Saudi entrepreneurs achieve high success rate, only 16% fail
Updated 21 January 2015

Saudi entrepreneurs achieve high success rate, only 16% fail

Saudi entrepreneurs achieve high success rate, only 16% fail

A top official at the National Entrepreneurship Institute (Riyadah) said on Monday that 84 percent of Saudi entrepreneurs have succeeded in their business ventures, while only 16 percent failed, a percentage considered very high compared to the international standard.
Sherif Elabdelwahab, CEO of the Riyadah, a government entity that promotes national entrepreneurship program for budding entrepreneurs, told a press conference on Monday that 4,720 young Saudi entrepreneurs have started their business enterprises in 181 categories.
Riyadah trained 9,447 out of 10,000 targeted trainees by December 2015 for entrepreneurial skills and business plans. According to the Riyadah CEO, 7,900 Saudis were approved for loans from among 10,000 who had completed their business plans and another 1,000 businesses are on the way for opening.
The official, who was speaking on the institute’s achievements in 2014, said that Riyadah operates with 25 male and 14 female branches. More than a million browsers of Riyadah's portal with seven million browsers to its pages have resulted in 71,000 making applications annually, which led to 551 training sessions for 9,447 future entrepreneurs.
Established in 2010, Riyadah works on six main objectives that moderate the prospective of operations. They include promoting one’s own business ideology and build positive beliefs toward small businesses (active).
Developing a national entrepreneurship program for fostering entrepreneurs under Erada program (active), developing needed manpower for Riyadah (active), enabling 10,000 entrepreneurs to start their own businesses (active), enabling entrepreneurs to current and new updates of starting own businesses (active), and promoting successful entrepreneurs annually with Best Entrepreneurs Award (BEA) (active) are among the positive results.
Referring to the creation of the institute, he said Riyadah was established as one of Technical and Vocational Training Corporation’s (TVTC) strategic partnerships with an annual contribution of SR30 million for Riyadah operation.
The testimonial success of the TVTC Small and Medium Business Development Center led the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals' initiative to start the entrepreneurship program in Saudi Arabia.
He continued: "Japan Saudi Arabian Methanol Company led by SABIC supported Riyadah endowment fund to enable 10,000 Saudis as entrepreneurs. Six founders of this program, who are represented in the board, carry the responsibility to establish and oversee Riyadah."
Those founders are Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Saudi Aramco, Saudi Telecommunication Company, AlInma Bank, Saudi Credit and Saving Bank (SCSB) and TVTC. It took Riyadah less than a year start in mid-2010 and become fully operational in January 2011.
He said in 2012 and 2013, Riyadah created e-training and e-solutions for the current entrepreneurs choosing three courses out of 60 different training courses.
Since 2012, Riyadah has been a regular attendant to Saudi Cultural Mission at the US Graduation Ceremony for King Abdullah Scholarship Program graduates. Two years in a row, Riyadah offered Develop Your Business Idea (DYBI) training programs for its graduates.
The same year, Riyadah offered training for selected Ministry of Education summer camps across the country where more than 8,000 youngsters benefited from those training sessions in 2012. In addition, this year, Riyadah focused on supporting current entrepreneurs with needed care to excel in their businesses.
Finally, this year our entrepreneurs represented us in Aramco Wa'ed, Arabia 500, and G20 YEA events, and one of the entrepreneurs won the first start-up business in Arabia 500.
He added: To accomplish the objectives, several activities entail training, consultations, mentorship, incubation, financing attainment, and assist in official permits' acquisition assistance.
Riyadah translates those objectives into projects and programs.


Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market

Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market
Updated 55 min 13 sec ago

Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market

Indonesia campaign helps SMEs enter Saudi market
  • They will be the main target of the export initiative, which is estimated by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade to be able to generate $60 million

JAKARTA: Indonesia has launched a campaign to help small firms in the country compete for millions of dollars-worth of food trade in Saudi Arabia.

The government aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improve the quality and competitiveness of their products to meet the Kingdom’s required standards, Indonesian trade and commerce officials have said.

Under normal circumstances, before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, around 1.5 million Indonesians a year make the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and Umrah and hundreds of thousands work in the Kingdom.

They will be the main target of the export initiative, which is estimated by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade to be able to generate $60 million.

To meet the Saudi food regulator’s standards, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin), the Ministry of Trade, and the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small-Medium Enterprises have teamed up to assist SMEs in improving products such as bottled chili sauce, soya sauce, coffee, tea, and sugar that are in highest demand among Indonesians in Saudi Arabia.

Kadin chairman, Rosan Roeslani, told Arab News: “We have facilitated five small-medium enterprises that produce soya sauce to obtain Saudi Food and Drug Authority approval for distribution, while nine tea and coffee producers are in the pipeline to also obtain a license. We have also submitted the application for four bottled chili sauce producers.”

While travel and pilgrimage restrictions remain in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, he said that the time before things get back to normal will be used to prepare the SMEs — which contribute 60 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and employ up to 90 percent of its workforce — for expansion into the Saudi market as soon as the pilgrimage sector resumes.

“We still have time to groom them as there are many aspects such as hygiene, and consistency in their product quality and quantity that they need to improve,” Roeslani added.

In 2014, the Ministry of Religious Affairs issued a regulation obliging catering companies that provided food and drink to Indonesian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia to source their products from Indonesian producers whenever possible.

Indonesia’s vice religious affairs minister, Zainut Tauhid Sa’adi, said that as each Indonesian pilgrim received food from caterers an average 75 times during his or her pilgrimage, demand was high but supply in Saudi Arabia remained limited and similar products from India and Thailand had been used instead.

Kasan Muhri, director general for export development at the Ministry of Trade, told Arab News that the program to prepare the SMEs had been in the making since 2017 and officials eventually decided to launch it this year despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

“Just because there are few Umrah pilgrims now and this year’s Hajj remains uncertain, it does not mean that the market is gone.

“People from around the world would still go to Saudi Arabia to perform the pilgrimage, not just Indonesians, so we are doing this to anticipate the market when the economy revives, and things are recovered. We don’t want to be left behind,” Muhri said.

Besides food and beverage products, officials say they are also looking into the possibility of exporting items such as goodie bags, prayer beads, and other pilgrimage accessories made by Indonesian SMEs.