RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The Kafalah Program officially announced a partnership with a diverse selection of Saudi-based entities, pledging up to $1.5 billion in financing guarantees for the Kingdom’s burgeoning community of startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The announcement was made on the second day of Biban 2023, with the Kafalah Program — the leading loan risk guarantee program in the Kingdom and one of the largest loan risk guarantee programs in the region — fully aligned with the goals of Vision 2030.
The program’s $1.5 billion pledge was announced in conjunction with the signing of several agreements focused on developing the Saudi Arabian SME space.
This includes the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (Monsha’at) partnership with two of the world’s leading enablers of regional entrepreneurship.
In line with the Kingdom’s economic diversification, Monsha’at has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oman’s SME Development Authority. The agreement will bring Monsh’aat and the SME Development Authority together to enhance the SME ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and Oman, promoting trade and entrepreneurship between both countries.
Monsha’at also signed an MoU with the Visa International Service Association (VISA). As part of the agreement, both parties will collaborate to enhance joint-cooperation and support VISA’s “She’s Next” initiative: a female empowerment program established to equip female entrepreneurs with the tools to grow their businesses. The initiative support Saudi businesswomen in achieving their objectives and attaining sustainable success.
Worth over $1.5 billion, these partnerships join the wide-ranging agreements launched at Biban 2023. Bringing entrepreneurs, SME owners, investors, and policymakers from around the world together, the event — taking place from March 9 to March 13, 2023.
Saud Alsabhan, Vice Governor of Monsha’at for Entrepreneurship, said: “At a time when innovation has never been more important to overcoming persistent global challenges, safeguarding the future and creating a greater, more prosperous Saudi Arabia, Biban continues to provide some of the world’s leading business minds a fitting platform to network, collaborate and create.
He continued: “In just two days, we have brought changemaking entities and innovators together to launch landmark agreements that will enhance the Kingdom’s SME ecosystem, bolster the national economy, and secure our future.”