JEDDAH: The Saudi Social Development Bank (SDB) on Monday signed cooperation agreements with technology companies to help family businesses join the country’s booming e-commerce sector.
The agreements, which were signed in Riyadh, will help families set up and manage their own online stores.
With the pandemic rapidly accelerating the already fast-growing adoption of online shopping in Saudi Arabia, the initiative offers families the infrastructure to adjust and grow in the virtual market.
According to research from global Amazon agency and marketplace consultancy Podean, half of the Kingdom’s consumers shop online at least every week.
Around 24 percent of those surveyed by Podean said they shopped online two to three times a week, 11 percent said they shopped daily, and 15 percent said they shopped once a week.
Revenue in the Saudi e-commerce market is projected to reach $7.05 billion in 2021, according to data firm Statista.
The numbers are expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.38 percent in the coming years, resulting in a projected market volume of $8.69 billion by 2025.
There are over 100,000 productive families that have been funded by financing intermediaries through the SBD with a total value of over SR1.3 billion ($350 million). In recent years, numerous initiatives have targeted these family firms in order to empower them and enhance their support to the national economy, including funding, training, and other incentives.
One of the most important steps taken by the SDB is the National Platform for Productive Families.
Launched in 2019 it offers a range of services, including certifying family businesses, funding opportunities, providing saving services, and allowing families to benefit from sales networks.
The bank’s Productive Family Certificate, issued through the platform, aims to empower family businesses and transform them into defined economic entities, enhance the reliability of their products and facilitate their access to markets.
Over 74,000 such certificates have been issued through the platform so far, and financing services have covered family businesses in more than 85 Saudi cities.