Saudi tech entrepreneurship flourishes due to government support
Priya Wadhwa

Saudi tech entrepreneurship flourishes due to government support

There have been many initiatives in the Middle East to bolster entrepreneurship in order to diversify away from the region’s oil dependency and source of employment for its young population. Countries like the UAE, Jordan and Bahrain have launched multiple government initiatives in order to accelerate the adoption and introduction of entrepreneurship into the DNA of their populations.

Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the region, has also identified the significance of government-backed initiatives to speed along the process of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Kingdom.

Nawaf Al-Sahhaf, CEO at Saudi Arabia’s Business Incubators and Accelerators Company (BIAC), states, “The tech startups environment in Saudi Arabia is thriving as a result of a range of converging factors driven by a rich and robust ecosystem of startups, investors, accelerators, incubators, business networks, advisory and mentorship platforms.”

The flourishing ecosystem is due to a number of government agencies and companies that support the Saudi entrepreneurial ecosystem, including Business Incubators and Accelerators Company (BIAC), a unit of Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA), which, in turn, is completely owned by the PIF.

Moreover, the country has eased regulatory impediments, including the limits imposed on foreign ownership. They also have plans announced to build NEOM — a $500 billion futuristic tech-enabled megacity, which will reportedly have more robots than humans.

Learn more about the Saudi startup ecosystem and the key players here.