Vision 2030

Catalyze Saudi: MISA, Jada partner to bolster Saudi Arabia’s start-up ecosystem

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment (MISA) and Funds of Funds Company (Jada) have formed a partnership to bolster the Kingdom’s start-up and innovation sector and support economic diversification under the ‘Catalyze Saudi’ initiative, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.

Jada, owned by the Public Investment fund (PIF), provides funding to start-ups in the Kingdom through commercially sustainable investments in venture capital and private equity funds.

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The two entities announced that they will host a series of ‘Catalyze Saudi’ events under the theme of disruptive technologies, which aims to bring together Saudi and global entrepreneurs and investors for networking and learning opportunities.

“Catalyze Saudi will be an engagement platform bringing people together for learning and mutual benefit. We hope this effort will help Saudi entrepreneurs and investors increase their access to international markets, capital and expertise, while also creating awareness among global leaders on the great opportunities in the Saudi market,” Jada’s Chairman Mazen al-Jubeir said in a statement carried by SPA.

The first of these events will be held in Jeddah and the capital Riyadh this month. Other events hosted by the platform this year will focus on private equity and healthcare sectors, SPA reported, adding that this list will be expanded to include other sectors in the future.

“Innovative start-ups are the bedrock of developed industrial economies – which is why Saudi Arabia placed support for the sector at the heart of its National Investment Strategy,” Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih said.

“We are committed to supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and we know that access to finance is one of the key factors that enables growth of new enterprises. Private equity and venture capital funds can play a vital role in this process and we are grateful to Jada for their groundbreaking work in this area that is unlocking the potential of entrepreneurs across the Kingdom.”

MISA and Jada aim to connect leaders from government agencies, start-up entrepreneurs, investors and leading family business representatives from the Kingdom to participate roundtable discussions and reinforce the private sector’s impact on the local economy.

The ‘Catalyze Saudi’ initiative is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which aims to raise small and medium sized enterprises’ (SMEs) contribution to GDO from 21 percent to 35 percent by 2030.

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