Amid a pandemic that has devastated economies, tested health systems to the limit, unbalanced finances and strained global supply chains, it’s no surprise that governments around the world are faltering. Unfortunately, all too often this means that the government’s priority for supporting entrepreneurship is underestimated and neglected.
But the government’s role in promoting entrepreneurs and startups has never been more critical — not despite the pandemic, but thanks to the pandemic. They are entrepreneurs who were agile enough to respond to Covid-19. Entrepreneurs continued to innovate through lockdowns, creating jobs and growth, and keeping the global economy going.
Above all, it is the entrepreneurs who are leading the way in restarting both businesses and our global economy, rethinking the way we live and work, and renewing our communities, cities and countries.
How to achieve government support for entrepreneurs is not just a question that focuses only on the North American and European market. Governments around the world are faced with the question of how to boost the growth of organic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in times of crisis.
The number of national SME ecosystems generating more than $4 billion in value has more than doubled in the past four years. If governments don’t capitalize on the opportunity for entrepreneurial growth, they will disappoint future generations.
Case Study: Saudi Arabia
The reality and growth potential of fast-growing 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 from 2020 – making it the second most invested country in the Middle East/North Africa region.
The Saudi General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, Monsha’at, has fueled this growth on multiple fronts and has led to 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 labor market 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 helps Saudi Arabia achieve the ambition of Vision 2030: a unique transformative blueprint for economic and social reform that ushers in a new era in Saudi Arabia’s history.
The country has already exceeded its 30% target by 2030, as talented Saudi women entering the workforce have quickly found employment in many sectors, including construction, manufacturing and, indeed, entrepreneurship.
HE Ing. Saleh Ibrahim Alrasheed, Governor of Monsha’at, said: “We recognize the importance of women in the entrepreneurial workforce, and we believe it is time for us to move on. Why limit the monumental success of women’s employment to 30%? The higher the target, the stronger the equivalent socio-economic benefit. By investing in the future of businesses, we will reboot, rethink and regenerate the global economy in a post-pandemic world.”
In addition, Saudi Arabia supports entrepreneurs with a range of policies designed to remove major barriers, increase access to finance, digitize government services, improve access to government projects and create an overall investment climate that rewards innovation.
Global Entrepreneurship Congress
Saudi Arabia’s commitment is underlined by the significant investment to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Riyadh between March 27 and March 30, 2022, welcoming startup advocates from around the world – working together to build one global ecosystem through a shared engine of innovation and economic growth in cities and countries everywhere.
The event will see thousands of entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers come together in person to address the new challenges posed by the pandemic. Furthermore, Silicon Valley giants Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, and Marc Randolph, co-founder of Netflix, have been announced as key headliners at the event.
The pandemic has forced all countries to adapt and evolve at an exponential pace, pushing the boundaries of science and technology. Now is the time to push the boundaries even further and create a new work environment for entrepreneurs where ideas can thrive.
Register to join the discussion in Riyadh at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.
This post Why government plays an important role in unleashing entrepreneurial potential? was original published at “https://hbr.org/sponsored/2022/03/why-the-government-has-a-significant-role-to-play-in-unleashing-entrepreneurs-potential”