RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Social Development Bank has disbursed around SR13.2 billion ($3.5 billion) loans to freelancers and productive families, supporting 342,000 beneficiaries, as the lender looks to increase their contribution to the national economy.
This takes the bank’s total financing since it started providing loans to SR138 billion while benefiting over 3 million citizens, Aleqtisadiah reported.
SDB CEO Ibrahim Al-Rashid said that the bank continues to support the role of productive families and freelance work as it is important to promote local products and improve citizens’ quality of life.
The Saudi lender is conducting its Souq Addar exhibition to promote “microenterprises” in 36 cities. The exhibition provides entrepreneurs a platform to display their handmade and unique goods until Oct. 7, while helping the bank promote its products locally and internationally.
Al-Rashid, who inaugurated the event, confirmed that there is an expansion in support for freelancers and micro-enterprises.
SBD’s products and program development manager, Shereen Al-Abdulrahman, told Arab News that the bank hopes to enable businesses to grow big enough to participate in regional and international exhibitions.
The Souq Addar exhibition aims to explore other paths to enable families to benefit from development opportunities and resources through the non-profit sector.
Saeed Al-Zahrani, the CEO’s advisor, added that organizing such events enhances the bank’s great efforts to promote family products locally and internationally, as well as financing and supporting productive families in various fields.
In March, the SDB announced at the Gulf Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh that it will allocate more than SR11 billion ($2.9 billion) to support over 680,000 entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.
The bank supports many financing, training and sponsorship programs for entrepreneurs to help them develop their projects, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
SDB also signed several agreements with strategic partners to provide training to Saudi entrepreneurs.
Also, in March, it signed a SR1.1 billion financing agreement with the ride-hailing firm Careem to provide 7,500 job opportunities to Saudi drivers.
As per the agreement, SR150,000 in financing will be offered for each driver’s vehicle, in low installments for a period of three years, Alarabiya reported.