Monshaat and Kafalah announce initiatives to support SMEs in Saudi Arabia

21 deals worth SR2.8 billion were concluded. (SPA)
Updated 21 November 2019

Monshaat and Kafalah announce initiatives to support SMEs in Saudi Arabia

  • Monshaat is set to launch a bank for SMEs

DAMMAM: The Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monshaat) has stressed its keenness to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through initiatives, programs, and activities, including consulting, follow-up, training and awareness-raising, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.

Monshaat is set to launch a bank for SMEs and establish an electronic link between SMEs, the authority and funding agencies, in addition to allocating funds to achieve the principle of sponsorship adopted by the government program Kafalah.

This came on Wednesday during the workshop organized by the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This workshop, held at the chamber’s headquarters in Dammam, was attended by Monshaat’s Director of Corporate Finance Badr Al-Radhan and the representative of Kafalah, Mohammed Al-Khuwaiter.

Al-Radhan said that Monshaat had adopted many initiatives worth about SR12 billion ($3.2 billion). These include venture capitals, indirect loans, recovery of government fees, and the enhancement of the Kafalah Program.

He pointed out that 21 deals worth SR2.8 billion were concluded under these programs, with the amounts approved for investment by Monshaat exceeding SR1 billion.

Al-Radhan added that the targeted sectors were the well-known economic activities, most notably agriculture, accommodation and catering services, administrative and support services, transport and storage, real estate, education, health, manufacturing, arts and entertainment, information and communications, and others.

He stressed that Monshaat was in the process of evaluating its performance while taking into account several indicators, including the percentage of loan utilization for the target sectors.

Al-Radhan spoke about the SME bank that Monshaat is set up to launch, highlighting that this initiative aims to improve access to funding and empower key financial institutions to provide more funding, support Vision 2030, and contribute to the financial sector development plan. He referred to the cooperation between Monshaat and 35 governmental and non-governmental bodies to inform beneficiaries of financing options for entrepreneurs, and mechanisms to benefit from them.

Al-Khuwaiter said that the Kafalah program, founded in 2006 as a joint development initiative between the Ministry of Finance and Saudi commercial banks to help overcome SME financing constraints, covered the guarantee of a percentage of the risk in the event of a sponsored activity’s failure to repay part or all of its funds.

He emphasized that the program has partnerships with 30 bodies, including 26 banks and financing institutions, and four government agencies.

Al-Khuwaiter added that until the third quarter of this year, Kafalah had sponsored 7,321 establishments, which received about SR30.9 million, with guarantees issued by the program reaching SR16.9 billion.

KSRelief launches prosthetics' center in Taiz

Updated 23 January 2020

KSRelief launches prosthetics' center in Taiz

TAIZ: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) on Wednesday launched an artificial limb center in Taiz, Yemen, providing high-quality prosthetics for up to 600 patients.

Abdulqawi Al-Mikhlafi, who is the deputy governor of Taiz, expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom’s generous support to Yemen across all sectors over the past few years, particularly in the areas of health, the environment and development.

Al-Mikhlafi said such efforts helped local authorities to deal with the many challenges they faced in providing comprehensive services to needy Yemenis.

He added that the Kingdom’s support reflected the deep historical and cultural ties between the people of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and he praised the Kingdom for standing by the country and its government for more than 50 years.

Dr. Elan Abdul Haq, deputy governor of Taiz for health affairs, thanked KSRelief for its continued support for Taiz and Yemen, assistance he said had alleviated the suffering of millions of Yemenis during the ongoing conflict.

The head of the Artificial Limbs Center, Mansour Al-Wazei, announced that the center would begin receiving patients soon, providing vital aid to amputees for whom prosthetics meant regaining the ability to live full and productive lives.