Saudi Entrepreneurial Landscape: A Global Hub for Startups and Investors - Al Taasis

Saudi Entrepreneurial Landscape: A Global Hub for Startups and Investors

Saudi Entrepreneurial Landscape: A Global Hub for Startups and Investors

  • Introduction
  • Overview of Saudi Entrepreneurial Landscape
  • Saudi Youth and Women Entrepreneurs
  • A Supportive Startup Ecosystem in Saudi Arabia
  • The Garage, Middle East’s Largest Business Accelerator
  • Saudi Arabia, a Magnet for Global Entrepreneurs
  • Obtain Your Entrepreneur License in Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia is becoming a key hub for global entrepreneurs, driven by its Vision 2030 initiative, a supportive public sector, and a dynamic culture of entrepreneurship. This blend creates an ideal environment for new businesses, helping them navigate the initial challenges of starting up. The efforts made in the last five years have been vital in supporting local startups and advancing towards the goals of Vision 2030. These initiatives strengthen the core elements of entrepreneurship and positively shape the future of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

Overview of Saudi Entrepreneurial Landscape

Over the last five years, Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurial landscape has experienced a significant boom, with startups increasing by an impressive 87% annually from 2017 to 2022. A highlight of this growth is the emergence of the first Saudi unicorn, realized through the successful IPO of Jahez. Additionally, there’s been a notable influx of venture capital funding, elevating Saudi Arabia to the second-highest position in the GCC regarding VC investment.

Sectors like technology, fintech, and e-commerce are leading this growth. E-commerce, in particular, is on a rapid ascent, with projections suggesting its value may surpass $13 billion by 2025. These thriving sectors align with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, a strategic framework aimed at diversifying the country’s economy.

Key goals of Vision 2030 include enhancing the small businesses’ contribution to the GDP from 20% to 35% and boosting foreign direct investment from 3.8% to 5.7%. These statistics and developments testify to the robust and dynamic entrepreneurial environment being fostered in Saudi Arabia, aligning perfectly with its broader economic objectives.

Saudi Youth and Women Entrepreneurs

Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia actively fosters a pool of specialized talent, which aligns well with the country’s youthful energy, as over half of its population is under 30 and adept with technology. This strategy is supported by efforts to attract skilled professionals worldwide.

The landscape of women’s entrepreneurship is also flourishing, driven by reforms opening doors for women to contribute significantly to the economy. This aligns with the Vision 2030 goal to create one million jobs for women.

The combination of young and female entrepreneurs reshapes Saudi Arabia’s business environment. By the third quarter of 2023, women owned 33.7% of commercial registrations, and young men accounted for 38.6%. These statistics reflect a growing and inclusive business culture in Saudi Arabia, where diversity and innovation are key to economic progress.

Obtaining an Entrepreneur License in Saudi Arabia is a crucial step for any budding business owner, signifying the start of a promising entrepreneurial journey within the Kingdom’s rapidly evolving economy.

A Supportive Startup Ecosystem in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) General Authority, Monshaat, plays a pivotal role in fostering entrepreneurship by setting policies and organizing forums like Biban, which connects entrepreneurs, investors, and officials globally. The modernized regulatory landscape simplifies startup and VC operations, including a streamlined business registration process and the new Saudi Companies Law, effective January 2023. Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s strategic location as a global convergence point offers entrepreneurs easy access to multiple continents.

The government’s support through incentives, grants, and a nurturing investment community further bolsters this ecosystem. The investment scene in Saudi Arabia has seen tremendous growth, with funding skyrocketing to an impressive USD 987 million in 2022, a massive increase from just USD 59 million in 2018. This growth is partly due to a range of new programs designed to boost entrepreneurship at various stages of investment.

Initiatives like TAQADAM, Misk Launchpad & Accelerator, and the Garage have bolstered the startup ecosystem, especially for early-stage companies. The Saudi Unicorn program is a standout initiative launched by the Misk Foundation, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), and the National Technology Development Program. This program aims to propel early-stage startups towards achieving unicorn status, significantly enhancing the entrepreneurial landscape in Saudi Arabia.

The Garage, Middle East’s Largest Business Accelerator

Established in April 2022, the Garage serves as a dynamic hub for local and international startups. It actively recruits startups to participate in its various programs and events. This startup district boasts a capacity of over 300 startups, with 24 meeting rooms, an ample event space that can host over 1,000 people, and areas specifically set aside for training workshops.

Since its launch, The Garage has been nurturing startups with several partners, including Google for Startups, the National Technology Development Program, KAUST Destination Deep Tech, and the Ministry of Investment.

The accelerator provides six unique programs: Garage Plus, ACCESS Disability Technologies Accelerator, Garage Incubator, MVP Lab, GAIA Business Accelerator, and the first Middle East edition of the Antler program. The Garage’s inauguration is a pivotal moment in both local and global startup landscapes, offering entrepreneurs an opportunity to be part of an extensive network of partners and founders.

Saudi Arabia, a Magnet for Global Entrepreneurs

Saudi Arabia is rapidly establishing itself as a leading destination for global entrepreneurs, backed by business-friendly policies and forward-thinking initiatives. The Kingdom is actively inviting investors, innovators, and creative talents from around the globe to explore its vast resources and burgeoning opportunities. This proactive stance has earned significant interest from global venture capitalists, strengthening Saudi Arabia’s emergence as a key entrepreneurial hub.

In addition to these efforts, Saudi Arabia is making significant strides with ambitious projects like NEOM. NEOM is envisioned as a hub for innovation, technology, and sustainability, designed to attract the world’s leading minds in business and science. This futuristic project aligns with Vision 2030’s objectives, emphasizing the Kingdom’s commitment to creating a cutting-edge environment for business and innovation.

By building advanced infrastructures, enacting regulatory reforms, and offering skill development programs, Saudi Arabia is enhancing its appeal as a global centre for entrepreneurs. These comprehensive measures create a fertile ground for startups, attract international talent, and facilitate cross-border collaborations.

Obtain Your Entrepreneur License in Saudi Arabia

Al Taasis is a trusted partner for entrepreneurs. With a deep understanding of Saudi Arabia’s business landscape and regulatory environment, Al Taasis offers expert guidance in acquiring an Entrepreneur License. We provide personalized assistance, ensuring all paperwork is correctly completed, compliance with local laws is met, and any potential obstacles are smoothly addressed. Our support streamlines the process, helping entrepreneurs quickly and efficiently set up their ventures in Saudi Arabia’s promising and dynamic market.

Contact us to know more about the prerequisites of your business journey.

Popular Articles

Opening corporate bank account in Saudi Arabia
Opening Digital Business Account with Wio Bank
Trading license in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s Economic Cities
Tourism business and tourism attractions in Saudi Arabia
KSA, an Irresistible Attraction for Tourists
Government Entities and Online Portals Dealing with Import and Selling in Saudi Arabia: SFDA, SASO, SABER and FASAH
Business licenses in Saudi Arabia
Business Licenses Offered by MISA to Foreign Investors
Visa Types in Saudi Arabia