RIYADH, Saudi Arabia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The highly anticipated EMPRETEC Forum was held in Riyadh, under the esteemed patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Eng. Ahmed Al-Rajhi. The event was organized by the Social Development Bank (SDB) and saw the presence of distinguished individuals, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Rebecca Greenspan, the Governor of the National Development Fund, Dr. Steve Grove, and the CEO of the SDB, Ibrahim Al-Rashed, along with senior government officials and international experts.
His Excellency, the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, delivered a keynote address emphasizing the paramount importance of empowering the private sector within the Kingdom, aligned with the goals of the National Transformation Program and the Saudi Vision 2030. He highlighted the significant progress made, with the number of small and emerging enterprises doubling since the inception of the Vision, reaching over 1.1 million by the close of 2022.
Moreover, H.E. shared the remarkable achievements of the National Transformation Program, boasting over 750 economic reforms geared towards developing the private sector, substantial improvements in global indicators through the "Invest in Saudi Arabia" initiative, and substantial foreign direct investment totaling 22.5 billion riyals by Q3 2022.
H.E. underscored “the achievements in reducing the unemployment rate to 8.3% and the record-breaking employment of more than 2.3 million male and female citizens in the private sector. Notably, female participation in the private sector surged to over 700,000, representing 36% of the total workforce.”
Mr. Ibrahim Al-Rashed, CEO of SDB, expressed his gratitude for “the collaboration with 35 members of the Empretech program, which boasts diverse experiences. He emphasized the bank's pivotal role in supporting entrepreneurship and contributing to the goals of the 2030 Vision. He highlighted the establishment of key pillars, including support for productive families, small and emerging enterprises, and the development of the bank's branch system into a business incubator, with six new branches opened this year, and 17 branches projected for the upcoming year. He mentioned the upcoming launch of the largest business centers in Saudi society.”
The forum's agenda encompassed insightful dialogue sessions focusing on innovation across sectors, technical and logistical services, and the development of research skills in product development, market needs, and financial management. These sessions aimed at bolstering the business sector's commitment to economic sustainability and fostering a culture of innovation to align with the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030.
The forum witnessed the signing of several partnerships aimed at supporting entrepreneurship and creating opportunities in the logistics services sector. These partnerships encompassed the development of specialized educational resources, capacity-building programs for youth engagement in the sector, and capacity building for entrepreneurial ventures.
The EMPRETEC Forum marked a significant milestone in the Saudi journey toward fostering entrepreneurship, and it serves as a testament to the nation's dedication to achieving the goals of the 2030 Vision. The event concluded with renewed commitment and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable development.
About the Social Development Bank
Established in 1971, the Social Development Bank has evolved significantly over the years, becoming a cornerstone of development within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Today, it stands as one of the most prominent development institutions, wielding a substantial and influential role in both social and economic progress.
SDB offers a comprehensive range of financial and non-financial services, coupled with educational programs designed to promote financial literacy among citizens. Furthermore, it conducts capacity-building initiatives and workshops specifically tailored for entrepreneurs and proprietors of small and emerging enterprises. This multifaceted approach empowers diverse demographic groups to actively participate in development and social endeavors, ultimately enhancing production efficiency and contributing to the overarching goal of comprehensive and sustainable development. The bank's mission centers on the empowerment of a vibrant and productive society, steering toward broader horizons of progress.