On 28th June, the GEM Saudi Arabia team launched their National Report at the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). Opening the event was Asma Siddiki, Dean of MBSC (Prince Mohammad Bin Salman College), and David Abdow, CEO of Babson Global (a partner of MBSC) with Alicia Coduras, Donna Kelley and MBSC professor Muhammad Roomi, launching the report.
The report highlighted that one third of working-age adults (aged 18-64) in Saudi Arabia intend to start a business in the next three years.
Other highlights of the report include that 78% of the working age population (18-64 years) believe that those who successfully start a new business enjoy a high level of social status and respect. Two-thirds consider starting a business a desirable career choice. Supporting these positive attitudes are the ease of starting business (65%) and frequent representations of successful entrepreneurs in the media (71%), both of which increased by over 4 percentage points from the prior year.
Media attention for entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia is among the highest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Most people in Saudi Arabia (79%) personally know an entrepreneur, and a majority see good opportunities around them for starting a business (76%), the highest rates on these indicators in the MENA region. In 2018, over 12% had started or were already running a new business less than 3 ½ years old. Opportunity motives accounted for 69% of entrepreneurs, a slight increase over 2017.
Fahad Al-Rasheed, Vice Chairman of MBSC’s Board of Trustees said of the report that it has “… revealed an increasingly positive culture for entrepreneurship within the Kingdom, and continues to demonstrate promising growth over the past three years. The strengthening of entrepreneurial activity within the Kingdom is an important pillar of Vision 2030, and the 2018/19 Saudi Arabia Report offers unique insights into how the nation can foster the entrepreneurial drive of Saudi youth”.