The Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) kicked off in Riyadh under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, amid unanimous agreement that Saudi Arabia has become an ideal platform for launching entrepreneurs in all sectors.
During the first day's sessions, speakers indicated Sunday that it was the right time to achieve successes in the entrepreneurship sector in light of the progress achieved by the Kingdom and the vitality of the Saudi economy.
They noted that the economy succeeded in adapting the business to the emerging coronavirus pandemic.
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the Kingdom does not seek any support to achieve its climate goals, as the goal in the Middle East is to reduce carbon emissions.
"The world wants to work with the Kingdom to reach technology that serves green solutions," he added.
Addressing GEC, Prince Abdulaziz said the Kingdom has a localization program and supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as it does not want them to fail and leave the field.
He announced that work is underway to train Saudi cadres on the Kingdom's nuclear program.
On the Kingdom's support for young entrepreneurs, the Saudi Minister said: "We must not forget that the person who leads Saudi Vision 2030 is a very ambitious young man who does not know the word 'impossible.'"
"As long as we are fortunate with a leader with such qualities, it is obvious that in this country there are large numbers of young women and men with the same ambition, enthusiasm and determination and they are working for their bright future as well as for the future of their country," he said.
The Saudi Energy Minister's work offices and incubators are crowded with a vibrant generation of educated young men and women full of enthusiasm.
The Governor of the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monsha'at), Saleh al-Rasheed, confirmed that Saudi Arabia enjoyed flexibility during the pandemic with entrepreneurs, support, and facilities for the private sector.
"We have a strong digital infrastructure that has contributed to limiting economic damage during the pandemic."
The Kingdom gave innovative companies support worth $900 million, said Rasheed, adding that demand is huge for entertainment, health, and technology.
Saleh also explained that the new generation is enthusiastic and ready to receive modern technology, stressing that the forum is an opportunity to relaunch an economy.
Founder of Global Entrepreneurship Network Jonathan Ortmans said there is a global revolution in startups with the recovery of entrepreneurship ecosystems and adaptation to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He noted that global entrepreneurial leaders must consider integrating new concerns around ecological and social systems, collective responsibility, and inclusiveness.
Ortmans asserted that regardless of what part of the Kingdom they come from, this is an excellent time for Saudi youth to become entrepreneurs and be part of the global system.
For his part, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak discussed his experience in global technology, recalling how he started in the business wanting to develop the best and largest technologies for ordinary people to use in their lives.
He highlighted the opportunities in the current era and said that investment nowadays mostly happens through digital channels because we live in a wholly digital world.
Wozniak revealed that he never wanted to start a company, instead, he wished to be an engineer.
Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) launched under the theme Reboot, Rethink and Regenerate over four days.
It will address several subjects that seek to increase assistance to entrepreneurs to expand their businesses worldwide, granting them the necessary skills to face crises and enhance the flexibility of doing businesses.
The Congress includes more than 100 discussion sessions with over 150 speakers and in the presence of entrepreneurs, investors, experts, and decision-makers from 180 countries.
Participants will discuss building a unified global system for entrepreneurship, highlighting entrepreneurship, innovation, investment opportunities, and enabling business policymakers to listen to entrepreneurs.
They will also seek to address the challenges they face in a bid to develop more flexible procedures and enhance the ease and continuity of entrepreneurial work.
The Congress also includes an accompanying exhibition at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and innovation workshops and sections. Several events aim to develop the values of entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth in the world to contribute to sustainable entrepreneur development.
It will also provide an ideal opportunity to comprehend lessons offered by the global pandemic, get acquainted with the best practices in dealing with crises, and preserve the flexibility of commercial activities and their sustainability.