(pp.17-31) R. Khan, J. Al-Akkad and S. A. Al-Khursani ‘Cultivating a sustainable ecosystem for entrepreneurship for national transformation: Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center’, MEJELSD, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to apprise the readers of the initiatives of Saudi Aramco in entrepreneurship development and growth in the country. Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center (SAEC) was launched in 2011 with an objective to develop local enterprises in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) by encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to establish or expand Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), to support existing SMEs, and to cultivate a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. Aligned with the mission, the centre focuses on the following Support: Start-ups, Financial, Growth and Ecosystem Development. In addition, ‘Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (AEV)’ was created to support local venturing. Business Incubation was initiated to complement the ﬁnancial support programs. Despite its relatively short life span, the centre achieved remarkable achievements ] nearly 50 new start-up businesses by various initiatives, training for over 2000 potential entrepreneurs, and offer of hundreds of educational sessions throughout the KSA, just to name a few.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The contribution is based on the work actually conducted by the Aramco entrepreneurship center. Findings/Implications: Entrepreneurship atmosphere is now vibrant while an effective ecosystem is in an early stage of cultivation. The centre achieved tremendous success in a short period of time. What are the success factors for SAEC? The most critical success factor for SAEC was the support from the visionary leader, Saudi Aramco CEO, who drove this program by engagement of key players for initiating an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Besides funding, budget support to the entrepreneurs, the brand of Saudi Aramco and extensive training of the potential entrepreneurs were critical success factors.
Originality/Value: The paper is based on actual work performance.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Ecosystem; Economic development; Saudi Arabia and Aramco entrepreneurship center
Reference to this paper should be made as follows: R. Khan, J. Al-Akkad and S. A. Al-Khursani (2017) ‘Cultivating a Sustainable Ecosystem for Entrepreneurship for National Transformation: Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center’, Middle East Journal of Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Sustainable Development, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.17-31.