Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — Today, the Social Development Bank (SDB) pledged $6.4 billion to funding entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and freelancers across the Kingdom over the next three years. The multibillion-dollar pledge was announced on Day 4 of Biban 2023, with the landmark commitment set to contribute to the achievement of the nation’s Vision 2030 objectives.
The SDB pledge joins the long list of agreements signed at Biban 2023: Saudi Arabia’s flagship startup and SME forum. Taking place from March 9 to March 13, 2023 — at the Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Center — the event represents a major milestone on the Kingdom’s transformation journey, accelerating the diversification of the Saudi economy.
The pledge was announced alongside a selection of innovative partnerships and initiatives established to transform the country into a world-class SME hub and global investment destination.
Building on its work to advance entrepreneurship in the Kingdom, the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Monsha’at) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with InspireU – STC.
The MoU will see the two entities join forces to provide the Kingdom’s burgeoning community of SMEs and investors access to Monsha’at’s business accelerators, ensuring they benefit from vital resources and provisions.
Biban 2023 also hosted the final round of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC), which was one of the day’s major highlights. First established in 2019 by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and Saudi Arabia’s Misk Foundation, the tournament invites businessmen and -women from around the world to take part in the ultimate startup pitch competition.
WhiteHelmet, was announced — on the fourth day of the Biban forum — as the 2023 EWC winner, taking home the grand prize of $300,000 US.