Businesses in Saudi Arabia are showing signs of recovery, with some big winners

Some of the most optimistic people did not expect to see the rapid recovery of startups and small and medium enterprises (SME) in Saudi Arabia, following both the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase of VAT. In addition, few expected to see the dynamic transformation of business models across many of the startups and SMEs, along with the overall growth of some within this sector. The notable and rapid intervention of the Saudi government, and the introduction of various initiatives to support these companies are to be credited for this recovery.

The steps that were taken by the Saudi authorities included:

  1. Following the lockdown in the Kingdom, the government eased measures on retailers, and excluded some economic and commercial activities from the ban, allowing them to open during select days of the week, and subsequently, lifting the curfew completely, to cater to the needs of local consumers. 
  2. The “Kafala” programme, designed to support SMEs by offering loans, was increased to 95 per cent (compared to 80 per cent in the past), with fees ranging between 1 – 1.5 per cent. The Kafala programme provides loans of around SAR 2.5 million to small and micro enterprises, and SAR 15 million for medium-sized enterprises.

English | January 11, 2021



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