SAMA assets reach SR2tn in July for the first time since February 2017

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RIYADH: The total participation of women in the labor market in Saudi Arabia increased to 33.6% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 20.5% during the same period in 2019, when most countries in the world recorded a decline in women’s participation, according to a report by the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority, also known as Monsha’at.

In the report, Monsha’at revealed that the unemployment rate for women in the Kingdom fell to 21.2% in the first quarter of this year, down from 31.7% in the same period in 2019.

Noting Saudi Arabia’s success in closing the gender gap in the SME sector, the report notes that the Kingdom has 45% female leaders in the sector.

“The Saudi private sector has been one of the main beneficiaries of the influx of dynamic female workers, with many women entrepreneurs taking advantage of new emerging opportunities in the accommodation and food service, wholesale and retail sectors, health and professional support services,” Monsha’at said. in the report.

The report further notes that the increase in female entrepreneurship and workforce in the country is due to various factors including regulatory reforms focused on empowering women in the workplace and creating women entrepreneurs, programs such as “She’s Next”, which provides access to credit and finance, and the Wusool program which provides 80% subsidies for transport costs between the workplace and home.

The report adds that Monsha’at’s Women’s Dashboard, which provides female entrepreneurs with an exclusive portal for SME support services, has also played a crucial role in increasing the number of female entrepreneurs in the Kingdom.

“Monsha’at, through its services to SMEs, empowers Saudi women in different sectors and plays an active role in the positive reforms taking place in the Kingdom. The World Bank has recognized Saudi Arabia as one of the top performing countries in terms of regulations governing the rights of women in business. Saudi Arabia’s score of 80 far exceeds the Middle East and North Africa average of 51.5,” Monsha’at further noted in the report.

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