According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Index, Saudi Arabia today ranks top, beating 45 countries when it comes to specific entrepreneurship categories. Currently, Saudi Arabia is ranked the first in the following: ease of starting a business, business opportunities, business response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and government response to the pandemic. According to the National Center for Performance Measurement, the Kingdom also ranks second when it comes to infrastructure, and individual skill and knowledge, and third in ease of access to finances, and ease of access to markets and market dynamics.
In line with the nation’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan, these recent milestones came after long efforts by Saudi Arabia to diversify its economy from its over-reliance on oil exports, and create a friendly working environment for both Saudis and expatriates. This is being achieved by also giving new opportunities to Saudi Arabian youth to take part in different sectors, along with the introduction of the National Center for the Development of the Non-Profit Sector (NCNP), approved by the Council of Ministers, to help regulate social entrepreneurship in the Kingdom.
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As stated earlier, the Kingdom was also ranked first in business response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) released their Global Report for 2020/2021, which shares some highlights regarding Saudi Arabia. In the report, it was said that over 80% of adults reported good business opportunities in Indonesia, India, Oman, and Saudi Arabia compared to 2019. In addition, it stated that at least 40% of adults between the ages of 18 and 64 were able to start a business as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was despite 20.5% of adult participants reporting a decrease in household income.
In short, the report points to the Kingdom’s capability to steer the economy through the pandemic throughout 2020, putting it at the top.