Aspiring Saudi entrepreneurs will benefit from the Saudi Credit and Saving Bank’s (SCSB) approval to fund 415 SME projects worth SR87m ($23m).
The bank will help young entrepreneurs start their own business by lending them capital up to SR300,000 ($80,000), in line with a 2006 Royal Decree aiming to provide interest-free loans for small enterprises, employers and emerging trades.
The decree is designed to encourage people with limited incomes to run their own businesses independently by providing interest-free social loans, as well as ensuring the SME sector in the Kingdom has the support it needs to thrive.
In 2011, Saudi Arabia launched plans to raise loans to SMEs from SR15bn ($4bn) to SR80bn ($22bn) by 2016, amid fears the world’s top oil exporter would struggle to create jobs during a global economic slowdown.
Earlier this year the Kingdom’s The Centennial Fund (TCF) revealed it had helped create 6,000 new jobs, with a target of 28,000 by 2020.
Director general Abdulaziz Al Mutairi also said funding for the next round of TCF projects would bring the initiative’s spending to SR2.5bn ($667m).