RIYADH : King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), represented by Badir program for technology incubators and accelerators, disclosed that the number of Saudi women entrepreneur-owned technology startups incubated in the Program during the past year increased by 144%. Out of the number, 44 companies are active in the fields of communications, software, e-commerce and smart device applications.
Badir forecast an increase in the establishment of Saudi startups and a promotion of technical innovation and development in these companies as the government sees a prominent role of this sector in the future economy.
Nawaf Al Sahhaf, CEO of Badir Program for Technology Incubators, described the growth rate of women's projects incubated by the program as "good" compared to the past five years, stressing that the program has contributed to supporting the ambitious and innovative initiatives and ideas of Saudi women entrepreneurs and providing them with an appropriate work environment through the offices specialized in the preparation, habilitation, training and workshops, enabling them to run their businesses efficiently and effectively and helping them to participate in local and regional conferences.
Al Sahhaf further said Badir Program seeks to raise awareness of Saudi women in technical entrepreneurship and promote the entrepreneurial culture through the organization of workshops, training programs and various meetings for female university students, as well as participating in events and activities of universities to raise awareness on the importance of technical projects.
Al Sahhaf enjoins Saudi women entrepreneurs who wish to turn their technical ideas into successful investment projects, to communicate with the program, which in turn will provide the logistics for their projects, provided that the ideas are innovative in order to obtain the technical and advisory support. The Program will then provide the project's premises, grant access to modern and sophisticated facilities and factories and create the right environment.
The number of projects incubated and completed since the establishment of Badir Program until the end of 2017 has reached 239, and incubates provided around 1615 jobs for Saudi youth, whether full-time or part-time, while the number of Saudis registered in the technology companies delivering their products through smart applications has reached 207,827.