Funding boost to fuel Saudi SME sector

Updated 14 November 2019

Funding boost to fuel Saudi SME sector

Bab Rizq Jameel Microfinance Company has teamed up with Kafalah, the Saudi government’s SME financing program, to work together to support small and medium enterprises in Saudi Arabia and help get their businesses off the ground.

The agreement was signed by Hamam Hashem, director-general of Kafala, and Abdelrahman Alfehaid, executive director of Bab Rizq Jameel Microfinance. 

The agreement is aimed at supporting Bab Rizq Jameel in offering finance for microenterprises by providing financial guarantees covering part of the risks associated with financing, in accordance with the Shariah committee-approved formats. In addition, the agreement aims at providing all the necessary services to microenterprises to help them thrive and achieve their ambitions.

HIGHLIGHT

Kafalah provides assurances and financial guarantees to lenders on behalf of SMEs, allowing businesses with viable concepts and business models to take their companies to the next level. 

The two entities will also conduct research to identify the best ways of cooperation, with the aim of providing joint training and awareness programs to develop the SME sector. The agreement also aims to attract a new group of beneficiaries who have never dealt with financial institutions before, with the aim of helping the microenterprise sector play an important role in the national economy by contributing to the creation of new jobs. 

Kafalah provides assurances and financial guarantees to lenders on behalf of SMEs, allowing businesses with viable concepts and business models to take their companies to the next level. With a proven record in supporting entrepreneurs, Bab Rizq Jameel Microfinance is the ideal partner. It is the first Saudi company licensed to practice microfinance in Saudi Arabia and has branches across the Kingdom. The company operates in accordance with the guidelines of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and has a successful history in the management and provision of finance to SMEs and other beneficiaries.

Alfehaid said: “We have 16 years’ experience in microfinance and have provided interest-free funding to more than 300,000 beneficiaries, to a total value of more than SR2 billion ($530 million). 

“In signing this agreement with Kafalah, we want to explore possible means of collaboration to support young Saudi men and women by offering soft loans, which will enable them to establish promising projects and contribute to job creation and social and economic development.”

Bab Rizq Jameel Microfinance Company supports small enterprises by offering various Shariah-compliant products with easy payment plans for young Saudi men and women.

Those eligible to receive financial support must have existing enterprises or ideas and proven entrepreneurial skills. The company works closely with applicants and provides a range of financial products to help customers meet specific needs. 


5th MITEF Saudi Startup Competition kicks off

Updated 17 September 2020

5th MITEF Saudi Startup Competition kicks off

The MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Arabia, part of MIT Enterprise Forum global network, announced the launch of registration for the MITEF Saudi Startup Competition under the slogan “Innovate, Inspire, Connect.” A fully digital version that simulates a real event, this year’s competition is held in challenging atmospheres in light of the global health crisis, and the competition’s commitment to continue supporting entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia to overcome the current challenges, and promoting innovation processes in the Kingdom.

Registration for the 5th edition opened on Sept. 15 through the competition website, and will continue until Dec. 10. Saudi and non-Saudi entrepreneurs of all ages and economic sectors can apply to participate within one of the three contest tracks: Ideas track, startups track, and the social enterprises track, according to the terms of the competition.

Hassan Jameel, president Saudi Arabia, Community Jameel, said: “The MITEF Saudi Startup Competition continues to be a hugely significant annual event, attracting thousands of entrepreneurs from across the Kingdom. Given the current global challenges, our mission to support young Saudi talent and to help small businesses develop, is now more important than ever. I would strongly encourage entrepreneurs from all sectors to register for what promises to be another outstanding event.”

Since its launch in 2015, the MITEF Saudi Startup Competition has succeeded in attracting more than 7,500 participants from all over the Kingdom, establishing more than 45 startup projects, training more than 260 entrepreneurs and creating more than 110 job opportunities through the startups. The winners received a total of SR1.6 million ($426,500) in the form of free investments. In the Startup Investment Forum, which was held during the 4th edition of the MITEF Saudi Startup Competition over a period of three days, the event hosted 65 innovative startups from around the world, including the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, and Poland, in addition to 27 innovative startups participating in the MITEF Saudi Startup Competition 2019-2020.

The MITEF Saudi Startup Competition is organized by the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Saudi Arabia, a branch of MIT Enterprise Forum global network, in collaboration with Bab Rizq Jameel, an initiative of Community Jameel. The competition aims to promote and enrich the entrepreneurial environment in Saudi Arabia by supporting and celebrating all startups and entrepreneurs in the Kingdom.