Riyadh, KSA, 30 June 2022 - Visa, the world's leader in digital payments, today announced the launch of its global She's Next initiative in KSA in partnership with Al Rajhi Bank, one of the world's largest Islamic banks, to economically empower local women entrepreneurs and SMB owners.
She's Next empowered by Visa is a global advocacy program that brings practical insights and tools to women-led small businesses, including networking, mentoring and funding opportunities. Since 2020, Visa has invested +$2.2M in over 200 grants and coaching for women SMB owners through the She’s Next grant program globally including in US, Canada, India and Ireland.
Women business owners across KSA can join She’s Next and apply for funding and access peer networks and educational resources that help address the challenges revealed in a recent Visa study of women entrepreneurs. Key findings include:
- Sixty-five percent (65%) of women business owners in Saudi Arabia have a special business education.
- Ninety-six percent (96%) of women surveyed said they got support from their friends and family on their idea to open a business.
- Fifty-four percent (54%) said they would like to know from other entrepreneurs how they solved business challenges and developed online sales
- Top challenges faced as a business owner: Forty-one percent (41%) said search for tools (programs and platforms) for business development and management; creating a good team of employees (37%); and competition (31%).
- Seven in 10 women (72%) said they currently accept both cash and cashless payments from their customers. Almost half (45%) of women said they would use the additional funding to invest in advertising and marketing.
The She's Next initiative includes a series of mentoring programs that provide women entrepreneurs with access to practical insights from women leaders in the public and private sectors, as well as valuable tools and educational resources they need to grow and develop their businesses.
Ali Bailoun, Visa’s General Manager for Saudi Arabia, commented: “The fact that 82% of the women surveyed stated their current business is their first one is very encouraging and indicates confidence in government’s efforts to create enabling business environment. It is also a great opportunity for Visa and Al Rajhi Bank to help contribute to the government’s efforts to support women entrepreneurship in the Kingdom. That’s why we’re excited to help women business-owners across KSA today through the first She’s Next grant program and offer access to coaching and support through IFundWomen as well as that injection of USD10,000 in capital."
Hossam Albasrawi, General Manager- Corporate Banking Group at alrajhi bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said: “As a leader in the financial sector, alrajhi bank understands the importance of its role to continue supporting and empowering women entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Visa has had great success with the She’s Next initiative internationally, and we are excited to be a partner for launching this initiative in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
This new grant program builds on Visa’s commitment to digitally enable 50 million small businesses around the world to kickstart recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its Where You Shop Matters campaign in KSA, Visa has encouraged consumers to support local businesses while helping SMEs to go digital to benefit from the surge in eCommerce while enhancing business efficiency.
As the trusted engine of commerce, Visa is also providing access to entrepreneurial knowledge and tools to unleash businesses in the digital era via Visa’s Practical Business Skills platform. The Visa She’s Next Grant Program will further support small businesses, with a particular focus on unlocking the potential of the most promising women entrepreneurs.
Women entrepreneurs in the KSA from all industries and sectors are invited to participate in the Visa She's Next Grant Program. The winner will receive one of five $10,000 grants, a one-year IFundWomen coaching membership, and access to resources such as the workshop library and community of entrepreneurs. Applications are open now through July 20, 2022. For more information and details click here.