Over 25 agreements worth more than $2.93 billion were signed on the first day of Saudi Arabia’s flagship startup and SME forum, Biban 2023. These agreements included a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Monsha’at, and Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia Limited.

Separate from the MoU with Huawei, eight banks and financing entities have signed these agreements to support the Kingdom’s SME ecosystem. The MoU with Huawei aims to equip Saudi SMEs with the tools to grow and succeed in the e-commerce space. Biban is taking place from March 9 to March 13, 2023, at the Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Center. It is expected to attract over 1,05,000 participants, including entrepreneurs, SME owners, investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders from the Kingdom and beyond.  

Commerce hub

In line with Saudi’s Vision 2030, the agreements will contribute to the diversification of the national economy, transforming the country into a hub of commerce: a nerve center of entrepreneurship and a go-to investment destination. 

Commenting on the agreements in his opening speech, Sami Ibrahim Alhussaini, Governor of Monsha’at said, “We are fully committed to bolstering the national economy and fulfilling the Kingdom’s potential. As part of this mission, we aim to create an affirming entrepreneurial environment conducive to investment and growth. We have made significant strides on this journey over the years, as seen with the Kingdom’s recent leap from 41st place — in 2018 — to second place, in 2022, on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s State of Entrepreneurship index.”

“Biban 2023 represents a fantastic opportunity for us to build on this progress and take more steps towards realizing the goals of Vision 2030. Now a marquee international event, the five-day forum will feature more than 350 speakers and experts from over 120 public and private entities. A unique platform fully geared towards the meaningful exchange of insights, networking, and collaboration, Biban 23 will help to inspire innovation and effect lasting positive change within the Saudi and global entrepreneurship sector,” he added.