RIYADH: In an effort to support women-owned small businesses in Saudi Arabia, Visa has launched the second edition of its She’s Next initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, also known as Monsha, and the Arab National Bank.
The Global Advocacy Program is part of Visa’s efforts to support the digitalization of women-owned businesses. It also includes the launch of the first digital index for small and medium-sized businesses owned by women, which measures digital maturity using five key indicators: online presence, acceptance of digital payments, awareness of payment security, customer engagement, and customer retention. press release.
“We are proud to bring back the second edition of our successful global show, She’s Next, to Saudi Arabia. “We are grateful to our partners for their support in bringing this important initiative to women-owned businesses in the Kingdom,” said Ali Bailon, Visa’s regional general manager for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman.
Since 2020, Visa has invested nearly $3 million in more than 250 grants and trainings for women entrepreneurs through the program globally, including in the United States, Canada, India, Ireland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Morocco.
“Female entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia require additional funding and support in today’s business landscape. The SMB Women’s Digitization Index is a central theme of this year’s She’s Next initiative, reinforcing the critical importance of this transformation, and showcasing the progress local women-owned businesses have made in joining the digital economy.
According to a survey conducted by the digital payments company, seven out of 10 female business owners relied on their savings to start their own business.
It found that “if additional funds became available, they would invest in more staff, new technologies, and increased security measures.”
Commenting on the launch of the program, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said: “We believe in the important role of training and empowerment for small businesses, especially those owned by women. By providing resources and support for their growth, we can enable these entrepreneurs to not only succeed but also thrive in our economy. Visa’s commitment to this mission matches ours, and we’re excited to work together for an even brighter future for small businesses in the region. “
The press release stated that women entrepreneurs from all industries and sectors in Saudi Arabia can apply to participate in the program until June 23. One winner will receive a $50,000 scholarship, a tailor-made program, and access to She’s Next Club resources such as a workshop. Entrepreneurs Library and Community.
“Initiatives of this kind are driving the next wave of innovative female entrepreneurs,” said Mohamed Al-Amro, General Manager of Entrepreneurship Planning at Monshaat.
Khaled Al-Rashed, head of retail at Arab National Bank, said that by cooperating with Visa, the bank “recognizes the critical role played by small and medium-sized businesses in driving the economic growth of the Kingdom.”