Report highlights entrepreneurial progress in Saudi Arabia

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Time: May 31, 2018

JEDDAH: The Babson Global Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (BGCEL) at the Prince Mohammad Bin Salman College (MBSC) recently launched the 2017/18 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report — Saudi Arabia.

The report assesses entrepreneurial attitudes and behavior in the Kingdom. “More than 500 global experts and over 100 organizations participated in the GEM report this year,” said BGCEL Director Amal Dokhan.

“The GEM is the largest, most comprehensive and reliable source of information related to entrepreneurial activities in the world.”

The report highlights strong social acceptance and recognition of entrepreneurial activity in the Kingdom, with 69.2 percent of the population believing that starting a new business brings greater social status and respect, and 69.7 percent believing that it is a desirable career choice.

“The report shows significant improvements in two years,” Fahad Al-Rasheed, vice chairman of MBSC’s board of trustees, told Arab News.

“It shows clearly that the regulatory environment is much more conducive to entrepreneurship, which improved the Kingdom’s ranking from 46 to 33 this year.”

The report shows that 70.8 percent of working-age adults personally know someone who has started a business in the last two years.

The National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 “had a major impact on reaching these results,” said Al-Rasheed.

“Today, more than 70 percent see good opportunities to start businesses, ranking Saudi Arabia first when it comes to ambitious attitudes and behaviors.”

One of the NTP’s major goals is to promote a culture of entrepreneurship among Saudi youths.

MBSC Dean Dr. Nabeel Koshak highlighted “the government’s continued support to develop the market for entrepreneurship,” and its “valuable contribution in creating jobs, enhancing the economy and supporting innovation.”

Almost a third of the population expressed their intention to start a new business in the next three years, the report said. The female rate of participation in entrepreneurial activities increased to 10.3 percent, and almost 40 percent of owners of established businesses are women.

“We’re proud of this result regarding women’s growing contribution to entrepreneurial activities, which ranks the Kingdom at 14,” said Al-Rasheed.

This article was first published in Arab News

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