Saudi’s SME General Authority has launched a new platform to support the growth of small companies and startups in the kingdom, it was announced on Monday.
HUB1006 was launched during a roundtable organised as part of US President Donald Trump’s visit and will serve as an operating entity for a series of entrepreneurial hubs.
The platform will offer access to professional and legal services, affordable office space, venture capital, learning and development, as well as government services.
The SME Authority will launch its first entrepreneurial hub as a pilot project in King Abdullah Economic City in partnership with Emaar Economic City, Economic Cities Authority and Mohammed Bin Salman College.
The hub will encourage Saudi and international entrepreneurs and SME owners to locate their new ventures in HUB1006 by “providing a creative ecosystem that offers a range of physical and digital solutions necessary to stimulate growth, remove bureaucratic barriers associated with growing a business in Saudi Arabia, drive innovation and overcome obstacles associated with starting a new business,” the statement said.
The new entity will have strategic relationships with CIC-Venture Café Global Institute – which focuses on promoting entrepreneurship; and consultancy Deloitte. MTA Holdings, an investment company, is a founder of the initiative, it added.
Currently, there are approximately two million SMEs in the kingdom, which contribute 20 per cent to its GDP. The introduction of HUB1006 is hoped to help increase this to 35 per cent by 2030.
“SMEs and start-ups in Saudi Arabia face slow and complex legal and administrative procedures and struggle to attract the necessary skills, capabilities and funding. This is a common problem facing many emerging countries. As part of the Vision 2030, the SME Authority’s task is to remove such obstacles by facilitating access to funding and enabling youth and entrepreneurs to grow and market their ideas and products,” the authority stated.
The SME Authority further plans to grow the hub by establishing additional network offices in other parts of the kingdom, such as Riyadh and Jeddah, with a long-term goal to expand its reach and scalability across the Middle East.
Ghassan Al Sulaiman, governor of the SME Authority, said: “We are launching HUB1006 to facilitate the growth of the entrepreneurship sector and to drive innovation across a wide range of industries. The new operating platform will adopt an inclusive approach, bringing together men and women from across the kingdom and other parts of the world to grow the collective value proposition of the entrepreneurial community.
“By establishing HUB1006 the government will boost employment, especially amongst the younger Saudi population, and create a more sustainable economic model that allows all citizens to thrive.”