Saudi SMEs ‘comprise 92pc of business sector’
Jeddah, May 2, 2013
The Saudi small and medium enterprises (SME) sector comprises 92 per cent of businesses, but its contribution to the economy is only 33 per cent of the GDP, said the organisers of an upcoming SME event in Jeddah.
The Izdehar SME Exhibition Summit will take place from May 19 to 21 at Jeddah Hilton Hotel.
Supported by the Kafalah, the National Entrepreneurship Institute (Riyadah), Injaz Saudi and Bab Rizq Jameel, Izdehar will address the challenges facing the sector by providing the perfect platform for SMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs to meet, network, share ideas, learn from and do business with local, regional and international solution providers, leading businessmen, government agencies and regulators.
Osama Bin Abdul Rahman Al Mobarak, acting head of the Kafalah Program said, “We are participating in Izdehar SME due to our realization that the challenges found in the Saudi SME sector need to be addressed in a systematic manner and Izdehar provides the right platform for this.
“The Saudi SME sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP can be raised if we address the five main challenges, which are; lack of financing, arcane administrative and procedural problems, the non-reliability and/or lack of statistical information, the lack of technical, managerial and marketing support, as well as lack of proper business planning and execution by those starting out in the SME sector.”
As an entity founded and supported by the Ministry of Finance, the Kafalah Program acts as a guarantor for Saudi SMEs, helping them to obtain loans in order to support the kingdom’s economic and social development.
“The launch of Izdehar SME has been driven by the huge demand from the Saudi SME sector for a B2B event that is dedicated to serving their needs,” said Hussain Al-Harthy, vice chairman, NEC. “The exhibition and summits offer a unique opportunity for SMEs from all sectors to gain a better understanding of market dynamics and the regulatory framework, identify business opportunities and meet potential investors.”
“Attendees will also have the opportunity of free business training. In fact, in view of the importance of SMEs, we are making everything at Izdehar SME free of charge as a social responsibility gesture that contributes to the Kingdom’s economic growth and development,” added Al-Harthy.
Izdehar SME includes many free to attend features. In addition to the exhibition there are two summits - the SME and Entrepreneurship Summit and Inspiring Women Summit, as well as training seminars and the Pitch for Investment competition. The competition provides a unique platform for entrepreneurs and business people to pitch their ideas to a panel of business experts with the opportunity to win support or even investment. – TradeArabia News Service