New business funding portal to help Saudi entrepreneurs

The event will run until April 6 at the Dhahran International Exhibition Center. (SPA)
Updated 05 April 2019

New business funding portal to help Saudi entrepreneurs

  • Initiative will allow startups to tap into funding channels by bidding for online offers from financial providers

DAMMAM: An initiative aimed at helping entrepreneurs to access business funding has been launched by Saudi finance chiefs.

The Kingdom’s Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at) has signed joint agreements with a number of financial providers to allow business owners to apply for monetary backing through a newly established website.

The announcement came as 720 young entrepreneurs took part in the Biban Eastern Forum for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), being staged by Monsha’at at the Dhahran International Exhibition Center.

The event, organized in collaboration with the National Entrepreneurship Institute (Riyadah), runs until April 6 with the aim of supporting and developing the sector. Delegates were able to participate in more than 60 specialized training courses, lectures, workshops and interactive sessions.

And the new portal initiative will allow entrepreneurs, startups and innovators to tap into funding channels by bidding for online offers from financial providers.

It is the latest in a line of schemes launched by Monsha’at to help SMEs  in the Kingdom. The authority had previously set up a SR1.6 billion ($416 million) initiative to provide credits to businesses through the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), in addition to establishing a SR2.8 billion ($728 million) fund to invest in SMEs.

Meanwhile, the forum gathering offered 36 training courses in subject areas including supply chains, human resources management, basic app programming, marketing, accounting, strategic planning, commercial franchises, and branding.

Thirty other specialized courses were dedicated to e-commerce, and included e-stores, business models and e-ideas.

Several other workshops were held offering guidance and information in areas such as industrial empowerment, risk management, micro-enterprise management, financial technology, bank financing, exports, smart leadership apps, entrepreneurship, data analysis, and human resources management of new projects.


Saudi Arabia’s Alkhobar becomes international role model for business continuity

Sultan Al-Zaidi (L) and Fahad Al-Jubeir.
Updated 21 September 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Alkhobar becomes international role model for business continuity

  • Alkhobar has pushed for a paperless municipality and emphasized the introduction of online services for residents

JEDDAH: Alkhobar municipality, along with Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company Siemens, has been hailed as a role model for management excellence and business continuity.
The municipality has been awarded international certification for its excellence in managing crises and risks under difficult circumstances, in recognition of its administrative achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quality Austria (QA) awarded Alkhobar Municipality and Siemens with ISO 22301 and ISO 9001 certificates, which are concerned with business continuity management, especially during the pandemic.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent and nongovernmental body. Its standards are internationally agreed by experts and are seen as the best way of doing something.
Alkhobar has pushed for a paperless municipality and emphasized the introduction of online services for residents.
Its mayor, Sultan bin Hamid Al-Zaidi, said that the municipality’s ISO achievement was in line with achieving the goals of the Eastern Province municipality. He added that the aim was to make Alkhobar a distinguished city, like other places in the province.
The Mayor of the Eastern Province, Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Jubeir, said that municipalities were keen to implement the most advanced administrative systems and provide the best services to beneficiaries.
“This comes in line with the objectives of municipal transformation, part of the National Transformation Program 2020 of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan which states that the Kingdom, with its outputs and services, should provide an international role model of quality and mastery, and raise the level of services provided by services and economic development agencies and enterprises,” Al-Jubeir told Arab News.

HIGHLIGHT

Business continuity was primarily done through strategic planning and taking into account the different local factors and needs of provinces and municipalities.

He added that the municipality had launched initiatives and programs seeking to make the Eastern Province and its governorates pioneers in administrative and service qualities, as well as improving public services.
According to QA’s regional manager, Dr. Mohamed Hassan, business continuity was primarily done through strategic planning and taking into account the different local factors and needs of provinces and municipalities.
“These instructions are then transformed into applicable programs and strategies at the amana (provincial government) level,” he wrote in an article. “Since the Eastern Province is, in this respect, the leading province in the Kingdom, the guidelines are finalized in consultation with the EP’s mayor, Fahad Al-Jubeir.”
The article gave examples of Alkhobar’s strategic emergency plans and said it had made arrangements with companies such as Al-Yamama for the prevention of damage from flash floods or storms.
It added that other public contractors, such as Nabatat, ensured that green spaces and parks in the city remained relaxing destinations for people, even on exceptionally hot summer days.
“A successful example of service digitization is the Balady software, which makes all municipality services available to citizens online. Moreover, the Balagat software offers a service in which complaints and suggestions from citizens can be reported and followed up online,” the article said. “If a complaint is not solved within 24 hours, it is automatically forwarded to the mayor of the Eastern Province, Al-Jubeir.”
The ministry’s foresight in initiating plans and preparations, the online software systems used and the high-quality standards in the municipality all helped in increasing the effectiveness of the business continuity management system.