The number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has more than doubled since the launch of the Vision 2030 program to 1.14 million in 2022, the National Transformation Program (NTP) said in its 2022 annual report.

“By removing obstacles, facilitating financing, modifying laws and regulations, and developing business and training incubators and accelerators, the Kingdom is well on its way to its target of ensuring that 35% of the Kingdom’s GDP originates from SMEs by 2030,” the report stated.

Women own 45% of the Kingdom’s SMEs and comprise 34.7% of the Saudi labour force.

Last year, the Council of Ministers approved the SME bank legislation and the transfer of the SME loan guarantee program from the Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at) to the SME Bank.

The SME Bank launched six financing products and 15 finance sector partnership agreements worth up to $800 million. These products and agreements will allow SMEs to access the funding necessary to empower their growth, the report noted.

Since its launch, the NTP has enacted more than 750 economic reforms to grow the Kingdom’s private sector, with government entity cooperation easing business for entrepreneurs and investors.

These reforms, which improved Saudi Arabia’s investment environment and competitiveness, include legislature and regulations, automation and facilitation of business procedures, improvement of the business sector and supporting increased female participation in the economy.

(Editing by Seban Scaria )