RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Center for the Non-Profit Sector is seeking to invest in young talent by encouraging social innovation.
“We seek, in partnership with nonprofit sector organizations, to establish and activate social business incubators and accelerators in all regions of the Kingdom,” Ahmed Al-Suwailem, the center’s CEO, told Arab News.
“Investing in young national competencies has several aspects, including attracting young competencies to fund their nonprofit organizations, volunteering their time, knowledge and experience, donating their money, or joining nonprofit organizations, all of which contribute to community development and youth service,” he added.
Al-Suwailem said that the center is working to invest in youth competencies by encouraging social innovation.
Investing in young national competencies has several aspects, including attracting young competencies to fund their nonprofit organizations, volunteering their time, knowledge and experience, donating their money, or joining nonprofit organizations, all of which contribute to community development and youth service.
Ahmed Al-Suwailem, CEO of National Center for the Non-Profit Sector
The third edition of the Youth Organizations Forum will be held Riyadh on Feb. 18, 2023 under the theme “Empowering Youth Organizations ... Developing Policies and Fostering Innovation.”
Young people, who make up 70 percent of the Saudi population, “are our best bet in rooting the culture of nonprofit business in society, and they will help us achieve what we aspire to serve our Kingdom,” he said.
The Saudi government is paying special attention to youth, Al-Suwailem said.
He added that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also paid special attention to the nonprofit sector by including it among the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 targets.
Al-Suwailem cited the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation (Misk) as an example, which directs its work in the service of young people, assists in the rehabilitation of national leaders, and encourages them to establish nonprofit youth organizations.
In addition, the establishment of Prince Mohammed bin Salman Non-Profit City, the first development of its kind in the world, contributes to supporting the nonprofit sector as a home of creativity and incubator of young talent.
Al-Suwailem said that young national competencies have the necessary energy and skills to develop the nonprofit sector, harnessing it to achieve national targets.
He hopes to see more youth in the sector and its organizations.
“The nonprofit sector is a privileged place for the career path of young people, who make up the largest proportion of workers and beneficiaries of the sector.”
Al-Suwailem said that the nonprofit sector is a major contributor to reaching a target of 1 million volunteers by 2030.
“We look forward to having a diversity of volunteer contributions, volunteering in councils and departments, professional, skillful, or general volunteering in its multiple fields. We have seen the number of volunteers reach 658,000 with an economic return in the Kingdom in 2022 of over SR923 million ($246 million),” he said.
The nonprofit sector’s importance lies in the fact that it constitutes a system of civil activities, voluntary services, and nongovernmental organizations that are not intended for profit. The revenues remain in the establishment and increase its growth, development and quality of its services, or go to members of society, he said.
Al-Suwailem said that the sector is one of the pillars of development in partnership with the public and private sectors so that they all work in supporting the national development process.
“It gains importance from the targets planned to be achieved within Vision 2030. The nonprofit sector is responsible for contributing 5 percent to gross domestic product by 2030,” he said.