Image via @hinnd_rawas on Instagram
These two Saudi platforms are enabling small creative businesses to relay their knowledge to those who are curious to learn more. Suplift and Upgrade both came about a few years ago and were noticed by inquisitive communities on social media. The original concept allowed people to engage in experiences and activities when they registered and paid for it.
Speaking to Arab News about the inspiration behind his platform, founder of Suplift, Fadi Yahya, said, “How can I ask people with skills to share them with other people who are interested in learning?” He continued, “I started noticing that people here didn’t have easy access to activities and workshops or a platform to access these activities,” he said. “It was extremely hard for an average person to try any activity they like.”
Building a business from the ground up allowed for any financial profits to go back to a small business rather than an already established organization. When faced with many challenges, he was essentially making a space for a whole new market. Some of the challenges Yehya overcame include making the experiences accessible, finding locations, marketing the business, tech and working with the government.
According to Arab News, he was most proud of the fact that Suplift enabled people to go out and make money, “The thing I am most proud of is that we help so many people make money. Many people say that passion cannot help you make money, but I think it is needed in order to help the Saudi economy move further.”
Suplift is functioning across 18 Saudi cities, with over 1000 experiences to be discovered and has so far helped over 10,000 people find alternative sources of income by following their passions and perfecting their skills.
Upgrade’s CEO, Mohammed Mujahid, had a different approach in building a similar business as his platform helps those who wish to take up and learn a new hobby, explore something new, along with business owners who wanted to expand their networks.
Mujahid explained to Arab News, “When we started, we were the ones designing the workshops and we used to seek the trainers — training and being creative are two different things. So now when the trainers or upgraders, as we call them, come to us, we provide them with guidelines so they can spread their knowledge.”
Both Upgrade and Suplift have enabled aspiring entrepreneurs in the kingdom to follow their passions and create their careers from the experiences offered on each platform. Their success contributes to Saudi Arabia’s goals to diversify the country’s economy and boost quality of life.