Saudi Arabia is a fascinating country. It’s conservative and modern, wealthy and poor, traditional and progressive. You can find everything from ancient Bedouin villages to high-tech cities. It’s also home to some exciting entrepreneurship opportunities.
This blog post will discuss how entrepreneurship fits into the Saudi economy, how you can start your own business there, what challenges women face when starting, and much more.
The entrepreneurship economy
So, what does the future hold for Saudi Arabian entrepreneurs? Well, it’s looking bright. The economy is growing, and with it, so is the number of startups.
There are more women than ever before starting their businesses in Saudi Arabia. The same goes for female founders; more women are at the helm than ever. One of the entrepreneurs
Mohammed S Gaber’s ownership
Mohammed S Gaber is the founder of the Saudi Arabian Business Incubator Program (SABIP). He is a Harvard Business School graduate and has been recognized as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. In 2015, he was awarded the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader Award.
He owns various stakes in the following companies.
MLO Technologies is a multinational technology company founded in 2012, with offices across the Middle East and Europe. The company’s headquarters are located in Cairo, Egypt. In addition to its Egyptian operations, MLO Technologies also has offices in Dubai, UAE, and San Francisco Bay Area, USA.
In addition to its IT services division which provides managed cloud hosting solutions, MLO Technologies also has two subsidiaries.
Moejione Studios is a film production company, a subsidiary of MLO Technologies. It was founded in 2016 by Mohammed S Gaber and has produced two feature films, The Journey and Time Travelers. In addition, it has also produced two short films that are currently in post-production: Cleaning Lady and Jackpot.
L&O Apparel is a clothing company, and as a subsidiary of MLO Technologies, it is a multinational company. It has 70% shares in Awaken Studios.
The business model of L&O Apparel has based on the concept that its customers are young urban professionals who value fashion and quality but who also want to share their success stories with others. The clothes they manufacture express this spirit through their designs and marketing campaigns.
Kalun Apparel is a subsidiary of MLO Technologies and the largest apparel company in the Middle East. With a presence in 20 countries. Kalun Apparel owns the following labels:
- Kalun Classics (formal and casual wear)
- Kalun Sportswear (activewear for men, women, and kids)
- Kalun Kids (kids apparel)
70% shares in Awaken
Mohammed S Gabriel owns 70% of Awaken, a clothing and accessories brand with stores in Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. It has a flagship store in London.
Awaken is a subsidiary of MLO Technologies.
30% Shares in Raw Studios
Raw Studios is a film production company in Egypt. The company was founded by Mohammed S Gaber, and it is a subsidiary of MLO Technologies. Raw Studios is the first and only film production company in the Arab world, as well as one of the few companies in Egypt that produce feature films.
Raw Studios has produced three feature films:
- Jackals (2014), directed by Yasmin Ahmad;
- City of Chaos (2015), directed by Omar Al Attar;
- Bab El Louk (2016), directed by Mohamed Diab
Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia: How to build a successful business from the ground up
- Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. It is important to have a good idea of what your business will look like in the future and how it will operate.
- Build a strong team around yourself that includes specialists in different fields such as finance, marketing, operations, and human resources. These people should be different because they bring their strengths to the company and make it more efficient overall.
- Financial planning is also important because if you cannot cover all your expenses with the revenue generated by your business, then there will be no point in getting started!
- Market research should always be carried out before starting any new venture so that there are no surprises once things get going. This could save time and money later on if done early enough (and hopefully avoid costly mistakes). Take note of competitor activity, too; this will show how competitive an industry is, so try not to think too big initially; otherwise, dreams might quickly become nightmares.
The role of technology & social media
- The role of technology in business is becoming increasingly important.
- Social media can promote your brand and connect with customers, suppliers, investors, and other stakeholders.
- Technology can help you save time and money by automating tasks that would take more workforce or be done manually.
- It can also help you reach a wider audience for your products or services by reaching people who cannot visit your physical store or office in person. This can help grow your business because it opens up the possibility of getting new customers who were previously unavailable through traditional methods alone.
The role of mentorship & sponsorship for women entrepreneurs
Mentorship is a key part of the Saudi startup ecosystem. It’s important to have someone who can guide you through starting a business and help navigate all the legal, financial and cultural issues involved.
Mentors can also provide valuable advice on how to raise capital and find customers. Mentorships are especially important for women entrepreneurs as there is still much room for improvement regarding gender equality in Saudi Arabia.
How to build a great culture within your startup
Your company’s culture is how your employees work together, communicate, and behave. It’s also a reflection of your values and beliefs as a leader.
A strong culture will help your startup to achieve its goals by enabling it to attract, retain and engage talented people who share your vision. This is because they’ll want to be part of something special where they feel valued and appreciated for their contribution.
By building internal collaboration amongst all team members, creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas, and challenging each other’s thinking without fear of reprisal or judgment – you can build a strong sense of community within the team that will ultimately lead toward success.
Challenges for women entrepreneurs
The challenges that women entrepreneurs face in Saudi Arabia are many. One of the biggest challenges is accessing capital, which can be difficult because women do not have as much access to other financial resources as men do.
Mentorship and sponsorship are also lacking due to a lack of female role models and mentors who have experience running businesses. Women have difficulty finding suitable locations for their businesses, especially if they wish to start their businesses rather than work for another company.
They also face challenges related to family and society. At the same time, some people support them. Others may discourage them from starting a business because it’s seen as inappropriate or un-Islamic for women. As such, there is little support available for women entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.
Strong support systems are key to launching and maintaining a successful venture.
- Support systems are important to help you achieve your goals.
- A support system can come in many forms, including friends, family, and business colleagues.
- The importance of having a good support system cannot overstated. If you’re attempting to launch or grow a business in Saudi Arabia, you must have people who believe in what you’re doing; understand what challenges are unique to this part of the world, and have the flexibility to meet those challenges head-on.
- Similarly, suppose your goal is to become part of an established entrepreneurial ecosystem here, and many Western entrepreneurs find themselves drawn by that option. In that case, your network must include individuals engaged with their startups and local entrepreneurs who can guide you on how best to build a foundation for success in Saudi Arabia.”
Entrepreneurship is the key to building a strong economy and creating jobs. The government of Saudi Arabia has made it clear that they want to create more opportunities for entrepreneurs, but there are still many challenges on the path to success.
We hope this post has given you some insights into entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia so that you’ll know what to expect if you ever find yourself launching a business here.