Why the Government Has a Significant Role to Play in Unleashing an Entrepreneur’s Potential

During a pandemic that has ravaged harvest, tested health systems to the limit, unbalanced finances, and strained global supply chains, it is no surprise that governments around the world are reeling. Sadly, this too often means that the government’s priority for supporting entrepreneurship is underplayed and neglected.

But the government’s role in promoting entrepreneurs and startups has never been more critical—not despite the pandemic but because of it. It is entrepreneurs who were nimble enough to react to Covid-19. Entrepreneurs continued to innovate through lockdowns, creating jobs and growth, and kept the world economy flowing.

Most of all, it is the entrepreneurs who are at the vanguard of rebooting businesses as well as our global economy, rethinking the way we live and work, and regenerating our communities, cities, and countries.

Global Recognition

How to achieve government support for entrepreneurs is not a question directed at the North American and European markets. Governments worldwide face the question of how to spur the growth of organic small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in times of crisis.

The number of national SME ecosystems that generated over $4 billion in value has more than doubled in the past four years. If governments fail to capitalize on the opportunity for entrepreneurial growth, they will be letting future generations down.

Case Study: Saudi Arabia

The reality and growth potential of rapidly rising entrepreneurial ecosystems like Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, are immense.

More than half a billion disclosed venture capital dollars were invested in Saudi Arabia in 2021—a 270% jump over 2020—making it the second most invested country in the Middle East/North Africa region.

The Saudi Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority, Monsha’at, drove this growth across multiple fronts, leading cultural shifts such as the commitment to have 30% of women in the workforce by 2030.

The evidence is clear that bringing women into the workforce is not only crucial to women’s economic empowerment but also further boosts gross domestic product (GDP) and productivity. Women’s participation in the workforce is helping Saudi Arabia meet the ambition of Vision 2030: a unique transformative economic and social reform blueprint that is heralding a new era in Saudi Arabia’s history.

The country has already exceeded its target of 30% by 2030 because talented Saudi women who have entered the workforce have found work quickly in many sectors, including construction, manufacturing—and, indeed, entrepreneurship.

HE Eng. Saleh Ibrahim Alrasheed, Governor at Monsha’at, said, “We acknowledge the importance of women in entrepreneurial workforces, and we believe it is time for us to go further. Why limit the monumental success of female workforce participation to 30%? The higher the target, the stronger the equivalent socioeconomic benefit. By investing in the future of enterprises, we will begin to reboot, rethink, and regenerate the global economy in a post-pandemic world.”

Additionally, Saudi Arabia supports entrepreneurs with a raft of policies designed to remove major obstructions, increase access to finance, digitize government services, give better access to government projects, and broadly create an investment environment that rewards innovation.

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