Entrepreneurship in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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SFG100 to promote innovation

GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN | ARAB NEWS

Published: Jan 25, 2011 23:51 Updated: Jan 25, 2011 23:51

Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Gov. Amr Al-Dabbagh delivers a keynote address at the 5th Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh on Tuesday. (AN photo by Ahmed Fathi)

RIYADH: SAGIA honored the 30 fastest growing Saudi companies in a glittering ceremony attended by former US President Bill Clinton and SAGIA Gov. Amr Al-Dabbagh in Riyadh Monday night.

These companies have shown a track record of better performance and extraordinary revenue growth and all have been founded by young and aggressive Saudi entrepreneurs.

“The list also shows that entrepreneurship in the Kingdom is surging,” said Al-Dabbagh.

The highlight of the awards ceremony was the appearance of Clinton, who flew Monday night to Riyadh to address the 5th Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF).

The ceremony was also addressed by Abraaj Capital chief Arif Naqvi and Linda Rottenberg, co-founder of Endeavor Global.

Referring to the winning companies, Al-Dabbagh said that these companies were growing fast and expected to expand nationally and throughout the Middle East.

“Saudi Fast Growth 100 winners all have a track record of extraordinary revenue growth, while accounting for the creation of thousands of new jobs,” he added. The SFG100 list measures the fastest growing Saudi companies in two categories — companies running for at least five years and startups.

The “Saudi Fast Growth Initiative 100″ is a national program to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Saudi Arabia that ranks the fastest-growing emerging companies in the Kingdom.

The list of winners was compiled by SAGIA with joint founding partners — the National Commercial Bank and Al-Watan Arabic newspaper. “Compiling the Saudi Fast Growth 100 list led us to several encouraging conclusions,” said one SAGIA official.

“The dynamism of these companies demonstrated clearly that Saudi Arabia is creating a business climate that supports and rewards innovation and entrepreneurial initiative,” said Naqvi, while referring to the huge market of over 350 million people in the region.

Rottenberg also encouraged new entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. “When I think about entrepreneurship taking root in the Kingdom and the MENA region, I am actually struck by a lot of similarities with the landscape in Latin America,” she said.

“I truly believe that the time is now for high impact entrepreneurship to transform the Kingdom and the region.”

The two companies that topped the list of winners were First Gulf Company for Supplies & Contracting and EKER Company Ltd. Other winning companies include Dnata Travel, Waseel ASP Ltd., WorleyParsons Arabia Ltd., Ahmed Mohammed Al-Sudairy Plastic Factory, IT Security Training and Solutions, Delta United Contracting Co, Advanced Communications & Electronics Systems Co.

Tamkeen Industrial Company Ltd., Abdul Hafiz Binshihon Contracting, GT Medical, Saudi Specialized Laboratories Company, Amjad Sara, Maysn Ltd. Co., Deep Advertizing and Tafeel for Information Technology also figured in the list of winning companies.

Founded by SAGIA with strategic partner the NCB, the Saudi Fast Growth 100 is an annual ranking of the fastest-growing emerging companies in Saudi Arabia. Its objective is to build momentum for a robust and sustainable entrepreneurial culture.


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