The startup scene is ever-growing in Saudi Arabia with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) making leaps in recent years.
Earlier this week, the country's Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF) stated that 140,000 people have registered in an e-services program for entrepreneurs and SMEs. Launched in August 2016, the 9/10ths program provides businesses with online platforms that promote and support "entrepreneurship and SMEs as well as helping to create new jobs in innovative ways."
Research done for Vision 2030 found that SMEs make up only 20 percent of the kingdom's gross domestic product (GDP). This number falls short when compared to advanced economies where such contributions can reach up to 70 percent.
Therefore, those behind the ambitious blueprint - which mainly aims at diversifying the kingdom's economy - are focused on advancing SMEs in the country.
Homegrown startups are making strides in the kingdom
In 2018, the kingdom's Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha'at) revealed that the number of registered startups in the country reached 190,000. At the time, this figure accounted for 40 percent of the country's total number of SMEs.
From telecommunications to food delivery, fashion and e-commerce, Saudi startups are here to stay.
In recent months, some of the most successful of them made headlines across the region. These include Saudi fashion Ghazal, communications company Unifonic, and the country's first online marketplace for home services Munjz.
Earlier this year, Munjz signed an agreement with the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation in the Eastern Region to train and equip Saudi graduates.