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‘SR4 billion venture capital investment can spur SMEs growth’

Date: Nov 15, 2017

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‘SR4 billion venture capital investment can spur SMEs growth’

Investment of SR4 billion in venture capital under the ministerial decree is a significant incentive to develop the business of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

This was stated by Ghassan Al-Sulaiman, governor of the General Authority for SMEs, on Monday. He was appointed to the position by Minister of Trade and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi last week.

“The aim of this fund is to invest in venture capital and the private ownership in agreement with trade foundations to support and promote investment opportunities in the SMEs,” he added.

Al-Sulaiman pointed out that venture capital is one of the necessary mechanisms to support SMEs, and the fund will assist in developing venture capital establishments. Also, the fund is an indication that the government is interested in this important sector and its role in implementing Saudi Vision 2030 by increasing its contribution to the GDP from 20 to 35 percent.

“The fund will also increase the rate of non-oil exports and create more job opportunities, and clear regulatory and procedural obstacles ahead,” he added.

The ministerial decision states that a professional association should be established to raise the level of efficiency and professionalism in venture capital and the private ownership sector, which will develop the business in these establishments at both technical and professional levels, and build an outstanding generation of entrepreneurs contributing to the Kingdom’s economy.

Al-Sulaiman is one of the nationals and a qualified expert in leading a number of corporate boards. He served as chairman of Ghassan Al Sulaiman Group & Co., Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman Furniture Trading Co. (IKEA), Venture Capital Bank-Bahrain, Venture Capital-Saudi Arabia, the development of cities central company, Kayanat Corporation, Rama development company (Marina), and Kattouf leadership for projects development.

Al-Sulaiman has a doctorate in strategic management from the UK and an MBA from the United States. He was formerly a lecturer in strategic management at the University of Maastricht.

Al-Sulaiman come with rich experience with his membership of a number of boards of companies, including Arabian Cement Company, Magrabi Hospitals and Centers, and the advisory board of Takamol Holding — Integrated with the Ministry of Labor. In addition, has membership in a number of non-profit institutions.

He formerly had memberships in many sectors, including as chairman of Savola Foods Company, chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry(JCCI), chairman of the JCCI’s SMES committee, chairperson of the Committee of Economic Development in Makkah, chairman of the organizing management committee of the international economy forum in Jeddah, and head of the Saudi-Malaysian Business Council, Turkish-Saudi Business Council, board member of the World Association for new Muslims, and board member of Holy Qur’an Memorization International Organization.