More women in tech start-ups in Saudi Arabia than Europe

Saudi Arabia has a higher percentage of women working in the technology start-up sector than Europe, according to a report published by Endeavor Insight

Saudi Arabia has a higher percentage of women working in tech start-up companies than Europe, according to a new report published by Endeavor Insight. Findings from the study also show that Saudi Arabia has a higher percentage of women in tech start-ups, than men. 

In the third quarter of 2021, the participation of women in Saudi Arabia in the tech sector was reported at 28%, 10% above the European average rate of 17.5%, during the same period. 

A boost for women in tech

Saudi Arabia saw one of the largest growth rates of women in the tech sector during 2021, after issuing 139,754 new commercial licences to women, according to the Kingdom’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

This figure represents an increase of 112% in commercial registrations issued for women entrepreneurs compared to 2015, when only 65,912 licences were granted to female-owned businesses.

Lateefa Alwalaan, managing director of Endeavor Saudi Arabia, said: “We’ve witnessed firsthand at Endeavor the rapid growth of the tech ecosystem in Saudi and how valuable scaled companies are to the growth of any sector.

“It was important to us to document this growth and impact to better understand the ecosystem and to create a valuable tool to guide policymakers, venture capitalists, and other stakeholders who support founders.”

Fueling the rise of women 

The report also shared that The Saudi Vision 2030 framework fueled the rise, as it aims to attract talent to the country while focusing on private-sector investments. 

“Saudi Arabia has the potential to become a regional hub for tech entrepreneurship in the Middle East if more companies reach scale,” the report added.

Findings were based on 70 interviews from more than 340 companies between September and November 2021, with data collected from more than 250 investment firms and support organisations working with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology community.

The study also found that having a company with 50 employees or more helped with resilience in times of economic turmoil. 


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