RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is on the verge of an entrepreneurial boom thanks to the unwavering financial support offered by the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority, or Monsha’at.
“Saudi Arabia is ranked second in MENA in startup funding activities, providing SR2 billion ($533 million) to entrepreneurs in 2021,” Abdulaziz Al-Nashwan, general manager of equity at Monsha’at, told Arab News on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.
“Part of this amount was with the support of Monsha’at; the rest, however, was private funds from different parties, leading to a 270 percent increase over the last year,” said Al-Nashwan.
Monsha’at, the governmental arm for empowering startups, has supported 25 private venture capital firms, or VCs, since 2019. These VCs were able to fund more than 500 startups, with SR5 billion commitments available for investments, said Al-Nashwan.
“Our investment represented up to 65 percent of the total fund; the rest came from the private sector,” he said while adding these fundings were a mix of equities and debt.
Monsha’at has been offering consultation programs for the small and medium enterprises, besides mentoring those startups in dealing with other governmental entities.
“We do a lot of activities ranging from providing funding and lobbying for the sector across different government entities and finally work with the startups to improve their skills and scalability,” Al Nashwan added.