Of the thirteen Saudi trainers certified today by infoDev, five were women. These female trainers can be especially instrumental in supporting Saudi women in the technology sector. The roll-out of infoDev's business incubation management training program in Saudi Arabia is being coordinated by the Saudi Business Incubator Network (SBIN).
The conference was held to develop knowledge and understanding among policy makers, incubation practitioners and stakeholders about the importance of science and technology based entrepreneurship. It also emphasized the role of technology for a knowledge-based economy and a diversified, less oil-centric economy in Saudi Arabia. The conference was hosted by BADIR, a Technology Incubator Program launched. ‘Badir’ means ‘to initiate’ and is a national program aimed at accelerating the growth of emerging technology based businesses in Saudi Arabia
As part of a partnership with the King Abdulaziz City of Science & Technology (KACST) – BADIR Program, infoDev has over the past months built the capacity of a growing network of business incubators across Saudi Arabia. The country plans to establish 80 new business incubators by 2025, for which BADIR will serve a coordinating function. With the newly certified trainers and tapping into the methodology that infoDev’s business incubation management training program provides, Saudi Arabia is better equipped to help its growth-oriented companies enter new markets.
Government officials highlighted in their inaugural addresses the critical importance of building the competitiveness of an innovative SME sector in Saudi Arabia. The diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economy towards a knowledge-based society is a priority for the Kingdom, as emphasized in its National Science & Technology Plan.
Valerie D’Costa, infoDev’s Program Manager, who spoke at the conference, emphasized that next to measuring the results of business incubation at the level of the entrepreneur or the ‘enabler’, it is also important to measure the impact on the overall innovation ecosystem. She mentioned that infoDev looks forward to deepening its relationship with BADIR and KACST, and support its next generation of high growth enterprises.