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Saudi Chambers to help Women Entrepreneurs

Local chambers of commerce in Saudi Arabia will assist women who have no commercial registration (CR) but have the ability to do business in setting up businesses. According to an official of the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EPCCI), Saudi women, who have no registered business but have the acumen, can now open their own enterprises with the support of local chambers of commerce and industry.

"There are many Saudi women without CR who have the education, know-how, training and determination to have business of their own. Local chambers are now encouraging and targeting this group to be productive," said Adnan A. Al-Naeim, assistant secretary general of EPCCI for internal affairs.

In the Eastern Province alone, there are about 1,700 companies and establishments registered under the ownership of women. However, a survey conducted by EPCCI showed that only about 600 of these establishments are operating. And they are being managed by male relatives of women owners.

"Such a situation is unproductive. That is why we are encouraging women with or without CR — to open their own businesses," Al Naeim said.

He said that women looking for jobs will be encouraged to create jobs for themselves and for other women as well...

"When a Saudi woman entrepreneur is successful in creating a business or enterprise of her own, the chamber will provide her all the support in terms of more training to operate and manage business and guide her on getting finance," he added.

"Educated and trained women will be encouraged to run industries and not just deal in the traditional trading business," he said.

He explained that Saudi women, who are successful in creating their own enterprises, will get further support in terms of formal registration of their business with the local chamber of commerce and industry and getting access to financing.

He mentioned the National Commercial Bank's Community Service Units as one source for loans for women who have set up their own enterprises. According to government statistics, unemployment among women is nearly 21 per cent, and to rectify this, it is necessary to train women for jobs by providing them necessary skills.

Women represent only 5 per cent of the total work force in Saudi Arabia with the majority being in the public sector, especially in the education and medical fields. The high percentage of unemployed women is a financial and human resource waste. However, just like with men, employing women is not only about finding them jobs but providing adequate training as well.-(via Khaleej Times)

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