Who Are the Key Stakeholders and Supporters of Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia?
Meet the Key Stakeholders and Stewards of Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia’s Startup Ecosystem
Saudi Arabia's startup ecosystem is rapidly evolving, and several key stakeholders are driving the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurship in the Kingdom. To provide an overview of some of the most important stakeholders in Saudi Arabia's startup ecosystem, Lucidity Insights have compiled a non-exhaustive list of eleven organizations and institutions. This list is not ranked in any particular order and is intended to give you an idea of the diversity and breadth of the stakeholders involved in supporting the growth of SMEs and startups in Saudi Arabia.
1. The Public Investment Fund (PIF)
PIF’s Role & Initiatives
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF); it is one of the largest SWFs in the world. PIF is playing a critical catalyst role in driving Vision 2030 and the growth of new sectors in the Kingdom, to create new companies and jobs.
PIF Key Stats:
• Over US$620 Billion Assets Under Management (as of 2022)
• Developing 13 Strategic Sectors
• 71 PIF Companies created
• 500,000+ direct and indirect jobs created
2. The Ministry of Investment (MISA)
MISA’s Role & Initiatives
The Ministry of Investment (MISA) is in charge of regulating, developing and promoting domestic and foreign investment in the Kingdom and protecting the rights of all investors. The agency is in charge of preparing the Kingdom’s national investment strategy, and aims to develop Saudi’s investment ecosystem which supports it to become a world-class investment destination.
3. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT)
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) is responsible for building a solid digital foundation that can help foster and sustain the advanced digital economy Saudi Arabia is currently developing.
4. Monsha’at (SME General Authority)
Monsha’at, also known as the Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority, was established in 2016 with the aim of regulating, supporting, developing and sponsoring the SME sector in order to increase productivity of SMEs and their contribution to national GDP from 20% to 35% by 2030.
5. Tayseer (NCC)
Tayseer, or the National Competitiveness Center (NCC) was established in 2019 as an independent government center that works to develop the competitive environment and improve the Kingdom’s position globally. It proposes initiatives and solutions to help eliminate obstacles facing the public and private sectors. It has implemented reforms to improve the business environment such as launching the Private Sector Feedback Platforms, which links investors with government entities and reducing requirements for investment licenses by 54%. It has also helped to implement regulatory reforms such as in the case of raising foreign ownership rates to 100% in specific sectors.
6. The Central Bank (SAMA)
The Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, is leading the development of the Fintech sector, helping to regulate the sector, hosting regulatory sandboxes, and issuing fintech licences along with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).
7. The Capital Market Authority (CMA)
The Capital Market Authority (CMA) is responsible for regulating and developing a healthy investment environment and resilient capital markets ecosystem.
8. Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC)
Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) is a government fund of funds that seeds VC and Private Equity funds, while also participating in some direct investments in start-ups by co-investing with other investors in the market. So far, SVC has backed >30 funds, 5 Angel Groups, and supported 401 start-ups and SMEs with US$1 billion in Assets Under Management (AUM).
Jada is a fund of funds company established by PIF in 2018 to develop the VC and PE ecosystem in the Kingdom. It has an investment capital of US$1 billion. It has supported ±385 SMEs and has 23 funds under its management. Jada has also developed initiatives to educate and engage the stakeholders in the VC and PE ecosystem.
10. The Saudi Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SVCPEA)
The Saudi Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SVCPEA) is an industry body created by a resolution made by the Saudi Council of Ministers with the objective of stimulating the VC and PE ecosystem in the Kingdom.
11. Fintech Saudi
Fintech Saudi was established in 2018 by the Saudi Central Bank, in partnership with CMA, to act as a catalyst for the development of the Saudi fintech industry. Saudi Fintech works alongside fintechs in the Kingdom to act as an intermediary between government and the start-up ecosystem, to understand what needs and challenges need to be addressed to help the sector flourish in the Kingdom.