With its first branch launched in Saudi Arabia, MITEF is a global organization of professionals serving the entrepreneurial needs in the US and global markets, affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) through MIT Technology Review.
“Investment in Saudi is one of the most advancing (and) we continue to review laws and regulations,” Al-Othman addressed a crowd of attendees at the one-day forum held in Dar Hussein Jameel.
Experts and entrepreneurs discussed key issues and challenges in Saudi entrepreneurship.
“Some of the best entrepreneurs are fragmented,” said Mudassir Sheikha, founder of Careem, the widely used service car app. Despite the abundance in creativity, energy, and talent, many entrepreneurs tend to create small projects instead of focusing on one and allow it to grow into a large business.
“Our region needs more successes,”
In a panel discussion called ‘Saudi Valley’, young entrepreneurs confessed that perseverance in front of negative criticism is a must. With a chance of failing in a brand new technology, many entrepreneurs need a push to not give up on their projects.
Despite over 700,000 commercial licenses are actively operating in an economy considered to be the largest in the region and the third fastest growing in the G20, many startups are still in need of endorsement and support in Saudi Arabia where it was only recently that the creation of a committee such as the Higher Authority for SMEs was approved in late October.
“We have to give freedom to those starting up,” said Tuba Terekli CEO of Qotuf AlRiyadah, the first private entrepreneurship foundation in Saudi Arabia, and called for more Saudi youth to aim big in their enterprises and turn worldwide.
The forum concluded with the announcement of winners at the third round of the Startup Competition.