Riyadh: The General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, or Monshaat, offers training programs for entrepreneurs to enhance the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product.
Established online academic facilities in 2020 to support aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners by improving their ability to access markets, manage existing institutions and explore options to grow their businesses.
The Academy has delivered more than 200 training events, including training camps, workshops and self-paced e-learning programmes.
Its programs include technology and innovation, planning and strategy, sales and marketing, accounting, financial management, human resources, franchising, e-commerce and retail.
“The COVID-19 conditions of lockdown have accelerated the need for such a platform to exist. So we started as a learning management system, where we get all our training services in one place,” said Abdul Rahman Al-Otaibi, SME Training Manager for Capacity Building in Monsha’at.
Al-Otaibi explained in an interview with Arab News that companies at that time needed support to survive during the outbreak of the epidemic.
“We have a group of experts who come in to research and define course objectives. Then we start developing the educational content. We do the research. We rely on good references.
According to Al-Otaibi, startups face challenges in accessing financing and attracting clients.
“Some of the challenges are related to human resources and finding the right team, and others have difficulties when it comes to managing the process. I think the main challenges are access to funding and access to clients.
Saif Al-Shammari is one of the thousands of beneficiaries of this academy. He joined about 20 other participants earlier this year for courses that include contract drafting and project budgeting and estimating.
The program developed the capabilities of entrepreneurs. He established the concept of financial management, which is the heart of any business. We learned the types of commercial contracts, the differences between them, and which ones you should accept,” he added in an interview with Arab News.
Al-Shammari established the Ras Al Khaimah Construction Company in 2007 in the city of Jubail in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom.
“I have a lot of experience running my company, but Monsha’at gave me a theoretical aspect of management and added a new wave of operations,” he said.
Munshaat enabled him to register his organization as a vendor for a leading company in the sector called Thabat.
“The other participants and I grew up in an open discussion with steadfastness, and eventually got certified vendors, and we hope to be rewarded with some projects soon,” Al Shammari said.
Increasing roles for women
According to the 2022 Facility Quarterly Report, the Kingdom’s private sector has been a major beneficiary of the influx of dynamic female workers, with many female entrepreneurs seizing new opportunities in the accommodation and food, wholesale and retail trade, health and professional support service industries. .
Monsha’at develops policies and programs that empower women entrepreneurs in various industries.
A group of female entrepreneurs at the college spoke to Arab News about their experience with Monshaat regarding their upcoming venture.
Moudhi Al-Jawali and her colleagues are in the process of launching a system for detecting and correcting grammatical and spelling errors for the Arabic language, in the name of Mobin.
It uses artificial intelligence techniques such as deep learning and natural language processing to edit and correct any errors in the text. “It will produce a high-quality, error-free text,” Mobi’s co-founder, Moody, told Arab News.
Majoring in Artificial Intelligence, Moody is in his last semester at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University in Riyadh.
“We are working on improving what we have, and then building and publishing the site in a couple of months,” she said.
Moody and four of her colleagues were part of a facility-run program called the university’s Entrepreneurship Camps, a competition where participants can showcase their projects.
According to Moody, their project took first prize, and they were offered workspace facilities and consulting from domain experts.
“We are planning to take business courses from Monsha’at because all team members only have technical backgrounds,” she added.
The Kingdom’s vision for SMEs
Founded in 2016 under the Vision 2030 blueprint, Monsha’at aims to create an inspiring environment for SMEs to grow and unleash their potential and create a supportive community for entrepreneurship.
The SME Monitor follows an ecosystem that monitors the continuous progress of the SME sector in the Kingdom, and releases new statistics and case studies that support their observations.
The Vision 2030 document states that “small and medium-sized enterprises in the Kingdom are not yet a major contributor to the country’s GDP, especially when compared to advanced economies.”
The Saudi vision is to create suitable job opportunities for its citizens by supporting small and medium entrepreneurship, privatization and investment in new industries.
SMEs will play an important role in achieving Saudi Arabia’s goals of reducing the unemployment rate from 11.6 percent to 7 percent, increasing women’s participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent and expanding the contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises to 35 percent of GDP by 2030.