Islamic investment group SEDCO Holding has launched a financial management program to support entrepreneurs in the tech and innovation space, deepening its involvement in the Saudi start-up ecosystem.
Known as Rowad Nomou, the program involves producing and distributing content covering the fundamentals of financial management, accounting and Islamic banking services as well as the dynamics of funding and investments for start-ups.
To deliver the program, SEDCO has signed separate MoUs with the General Authority for SMEs, also known as Monsha’at; the Ministry of Finance’s SME loan guarantee program, Kafalah; and Dulani Business Center. The MoUs will also see the parties involved sharing knowledge, organizing financial management workshops, training programs and educational sessions.
An internal study found that 79% of Saudi companies would shutter their businesses within the first three years of operations. Difficulties in securing funding and a competitive landscape have been cited as among the most pressing challenges facing SMEs. The Rowad research also revealed that most entrepreneurs self-manage their finances and generally support their businesses through soft loans or with the support of family members.
“The business environment in Saudi Arabia witnessed a great shift, as Saudi Vision 2030 outlined goals to be achieved in the start-up ecosystem front. This includes increasing the contribution of SMEs from 20% to 35% of the country’s GDP, which will positively impact the economy, sustainably develop society, and propel the growth of companies,” commented Mohammed Mosly, COO of SEDCO Holding. “To accomplish this, Rowad program aims to support entrepreneurs and startup owners learn how to manage their finances. This will in turn raise the number of successful, locally owned businesses within the Kingdom, aiding Saudi Arabia achieve growth, development, and prosperity.”
Mohammed, who was appointed as the company’s first COO last October, has been overseeing various new measures including in the area of technology and governance for the firm. Two months after his appointment, SEDCO entered an MoU with Fintech Saudi to support the fintech sector. It also established a Shariah advisory committee earlier this month.