Women in Saudi Arabia are getting a significant push that empowers them by Saudi Islamic bank Al Rajhi Bank and the digital payments giant Visa which are offering financial support to female entrepreneurs.
Ali Bailoun, Visa’s Regional General Manager for the GCC Cluster (including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman), says that the ‘She’s Next’ initiative offers Saudi female business owners a unique opportunity to apply for one of five $10,000 grants.
Female entrepreneurs can also receive a year of coaching from IFundWomen as well as networking and mentoring opportunities to build, fund, and grow their ventures,
Bailoun said that the initiative implemented in the Kingdom in partnership with Al Rajhi Bank was launched for the first time at the end of June to support the Saudi government’s ongoing efforts to economically elevate women entrepreneurs across Saudi Arabia.
Visa’s 2022 survey on female entrepreneurs shows that 82% of surveyed Saudi women said their current business venture was their first. That indicates their increasing confidence in the government’s efforts to foster a more inclusive business environment and empower women.
The main struggles of the Saudi female entrepreneurs who took part in Visa’s survey were to create a good team of employees, find the right tools/ platforms that support business development and management, and stand out against the competition.
They can now address those challenges by joining ‘She’s Next’ and applying for funding and for access to peer networks and educational resources.
Bailoun stressed Visa’s commitment to fostering an environment that enables all women to thrive and challenge the status quo to address the disproportionate barriers women entrepreneurs are facing.
‘She’s Next’ initiative in Saudi Arabia aims to provide female entrepreneurs with the right learning opportunities and to teach them how to set better goals for their businesses’ profitability, develop stronger strategies and survive the lingering effects of COVID-19.