RIYADH: Entrepreneurship is a form of economic diversification and the Royal Commission for AlUla has created a platform to support the Kingdom’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, said AlUla CEO Amr Al-Madani.
The platform, called Vibes AlUla, aims to boost entrepreneurship through the provision of shared mentorship programs, services and office spaces.
The hub is used to train around 80 entrepreneurs in a range of first-step business principles and a further 60 micro and small businesses.
Talking to Arab News on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh, Al-Madani said diversity enables sustainability and sustainable growth uplifts communities.
He affirmed AlUla’s commitment to help entrepreneurs on how to best position their ideas.
“The first opportunity that we are responsible to provide for entrepreneurs that quite already exists is to give them (a) sizable market, to create sustainable demand by incentivizing visitors to come reintroduce AlUla in a new form that excites people to come and buy the services of these entrepreneurs,” he said.
Over 3,000 jobs have already been created in the tourism sector by entrepreneurs who offer new mobility choices and new experiences.
“Micro enterprises are one way to accelerate economic growth because instead of looking for a job, each one creates one plus one, one plus two jobs,” he said, affirming that jobs cannot be created by the government alone unless they are unsustainable.
Al-Madani said entrepreneurship will be the bedrock for a sustainable economic growth as AlUla becomes a tourist destination for natural and cultural heritage.
Inspired by Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and economic diversification plans, AlUla wants 70 percent of its economy to rely on tourism by 2035.
However, to become a sustainable economy, there has to be multiple economic drivers like film industry, specialized education, agriculture and craft, Al-Madani added.
Promoting young talent
Speaking of Saudi youths, Al-Madani said that engaging with the global talent is important for growth and it would not constitute a threat to the locals talent.
“Saudis who are supported, usually outperform their peers globally when they work on a Saudi context, because they deeply believe in Vision 2030,” he explained.