Saudi program for SMEs attracts 140K people

Updated 28 May 2019
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Saudi program for SMEs attracts 140K people

  • The program is one of HADAF’s initiatives to achieve goals in the Vision 2030 reform plan

RIYADH: The Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF) said 140,000 people have registered in an e-services program for entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The 9/10ths Program, which was launched in August 2016, offers online platforms to change the Kingdom’s work culture by promoting and supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs as well as helping to create new jobs in innovative ways.

Services provided by the online platforms are an interactive guide for entrepreneurs at all stages of their startup projects, financing solutions that serve viable enterprises, services and applications for managing, developing, and operating SMEs, and data and information that help entrepreneurs and enterprises in making important business decisions. 

The program is one of HADAF’s initiatives to achieve goals in the Vision 2030 reform plan, and the National Transformation Program 2020. Vision 2030 says that SMEs contribute only 20 percent of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP), whereas in advanced economies this contribution can reach up to 70 percent.  


Pompeo meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for talks on Aramco attacks

Updated 12 min 44 sec ago

Pompeo meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for talks on Aramco attacks

  • Pompeo described the drone and cruise missile strikes on Saturday as an 'Iranian attack'
  • Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf. 

JEDDAH: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday described strikes on key Saudi oil installations as an “act of war” as he landed in Jeddah to meet with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Pompeo described the drone and cruise missile strikes on Saturday as an “Iranian attack”.

He said it had not come from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants and that there was no evidence the attacks had been launched from Iraq.

"This is an attack of a scale we've just not seen before," he added.

Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf.

Pompeo's visit comes as President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there were many options short of war with Iran after Saudi Arabia's display of remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in the I that was "unquestionably sponsored" by Tehran.

"There are many options. There's the ultimate option and there are options that are a lot less than that. And we'll see," Trump told reporters in Los Angeles. "I'm saying the ultimate option meaning go in — war."

Trump, who earlier said on Twitter that he had ordered the US Treasury to "substantially increase" sanctions on Iran, told reporters the unspecified, punitive economic measures would be unveiled within 48 hours.

Trump's tweet followed repeated US assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind Saturday's attack on Aramco facilities and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a "test of global will."

Earlier on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had spoken with US President Donald Trump about the Aramco attack, and agreed that Iran must not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Also on Wednesday, Kuwait's army released a statement announcing it was raising its preparedness level for some units, given the tensions in the Middle East region.