— Saudi banks have provided SR1.4 trillion funding to the private sector said Talal Hafiz, secretary general of the media and banking awareness committee and the spokesperson of Saudi banks.
Speaking at an open discussion about the challenges and solutions that startup businesses face in the banking sector, Hafiz said that small businesses contribute 20 percent to the economy.
In Europe and the US small and medium businesses normally contribute by 50 percent and even more to their GDP. According to him the current status of the contribution of small businesses in Saudi is not up to the expected standards but with the establishment of an SMEs authority banks are now more enthusiastic to provide funding.
According to Hafiz while many startup businesses consider funding as their primary issue, he noted that bureaucracy and the different regulations set by all different government departments is the number one issue including the regulations of the municipality, the Civil Defense, the Ministry of Commerce and Investment among others.
Hafiz said they are keen to support promising businesses that are in line with the economic vision, provide jobs for Saudis and is capable of remaining in the market. He added, "However let's be frank, banks cannot support very high risk businesses that might be just ideas in the mind of an entrepreneur, businesses must contribute financially and be committed and show hard work to get the fund."
Meanwhile, he said, they do provide special funds with soft rates for small projects in the CSR bank programs. He added that they give training to these project staff and help them grow and remain the market.
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