Kerr and Dr Al Sulaiman at the HUB1006 signing ceremony

Kerr and Dr Al Sulaiman at the HUB1006 signing ceremony

New hub to drive SMEs, start-ups

Unveiled during the US presidential visit and as part of Vision 2030, HUB1006 will become a one-stop location for local and international start-ups to scale in the kingdom

01 June 2017

The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) General Authority of Saudi Arabia has announced the establishment of HUB1006, an operating entity for a series of entrepreneurial hubs focused on growing the SME and start-up sectors across the Kingdom.

HUB1006 was launched during the Impact to Innovation (i2i) Roundtable, organised as part of the US presidential visit, in order to realise the goals of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Programme (NTP) led by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

HUB1006 will be established as an operating body with strategic relationships with CIC-Venture Café Global Institute, a public benefit corporation with an international network focused on promoting entrepreneurship, and Deloitte, the largest professional services firm in the world.

MTA Holdings, an investment company, is a founder of the initiative. The partner organisations will provide their expertise and know-how to help ensure that the Hub offers the necessary resources to help SMEs and start-ups succeed.

The SME Authority will launch its first entrepreneurial Hub as a pilot project in King Abdullah Economic City in partnership with Emaar Economic City, Economic Cities Authority and Mohammed Bin Salman College. It will actively encourage Saudi and international entrepreneurs and SME owners to locate their new ventures in HUB1006 by providing a creative ecosystem that offers a range of physical and digital solutions necessary to stimulate growth, remove bureaucratic barriers, drive innovation and overcome obstacles associated with starting a new business.

Designed to be a launch pad for SMEs and start-ups in the Middle East, HUB1006 will serve as the physical and virtual exchange between Saudi Arabia and the world, creating an environment that facilitates access to professional and legal services, affordable office space, venture capital, learning and development, as well as government services.

The SME Authority plans to grow the Hub by establishing additional network offices in other parts of the Kingdom, such as Riyadh and Jeddah, with plans to expand its reach across the Middle East.

Currently, there are approximately two million SMEs in Saudi Arabia, which contribute 20 per cent to the kingdom’s GDP; the introduction of HUB1006 will help increase this to 35 per cent by 2030.  

Dr Ghassan Al Sulaiman, governor of the SME Authority, said: “By establishing HUB1006 the government will boost employment, especially amongst the younger Saudi population, and create a more sustainable economic model that allows all citizens to thrive.”

John Kerr, vice-chairman, Global Consulting at Deloitte, added: “There is global excitement about Saudi Arabia›s Vision 2030, and we are deeply committed to bringing our best in class capabilities to this initiative.”

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