Savoring the boom in oil prices between 2003-2013, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia mushroomed into the world’s 19th largest economy that soon reached an inflection point which highlighted the criticality for economic transformation and diversification. To charter the journey ahead, the 2016 launch of Saudi Vision 2030 placed emphasis on and prioritized entrepreneurship to the forefront of its diversification agenda, as a result of which, government initiatives and entities such as Monsha’at sought to curate the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to boost SME contributions to the GDP from 20% to 35%. While entrepreneurship in the Kingdom reached its zenith by 2018, the ecosystem faced certain challenges including the shortage of a talented workforce and access to funding. To that effect, case study analyzes whether authorities could augment existing enablers and mechanisms to allow startups to unlock their potential. It also explores if Saudi Arabia, through its focused efforts, could carve itself a unique ecosystem that would establish the Kingdom as a top-tier entrepreneurial hub within the region and, more significantly, the world?
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