The world of entrepreneurship is becoming more and more popular each year, and for countries like Saudi Arabia, which is pushing for innovative solutions that align with its Vision2030, entrepreneurship plays an integral part in its success. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Saudi Arabia is ranked the 4th best country for entrepreneurs in 2022.
This comes to show that Saudi Arabia is laying the foundation and the necessary support for entrepreneurs to venture in the Kingdom and bring on new things. In fact, MAGNITT report shows that Saudi Arabia recorded around $256M in VC funding in Q1 of this year, which is the highest amount of funding that Kingdom recorded in a single quarter.
Here are 11 Saudi Entrepreneurs who are helping shape Saudi Arabia’s Future:
1. Mohammad Aldossary
CEO and co-founder of Sary, Mohammad Aldossary, started his entrepreneurial ventures back when he worked with Careem and Circ and helped blitzscale these startups before acquisition. Soon after, Mohammad Aldossary moved on to co-found Sary, a smart B2B marketplace that brings small businesses, brands, and wholesalers together in a seamless and efficient manner.
“Empathy is the keyword. In these distressing times, you need to walk in the customer’s shoes and understand the ramifications of any failure even if it was caused by external forces with little to no control. The same goes for investors, emotional intelligence is the most value-add an entrepreneur looks for in a crisis, besides learnings from portfolio companies.” - Mohammad Aldossary, CEO and Co-founder of Sary
2. Khaled A. AlSiari
Following his work in project management in some of the leading organizations, Khaled A. AlSiari joined forces with Mohammad Aldossary to reinvent wholesale and start Sary. Similar to Mohammad’s work with Careem, Khaled also worked on developing key partnerships with Clients like Careem.
His work as a business development manager equipped him with the right tools and skillset to embark on an entrepreneurial journey and transform the face of wholesale.
3. Osama AlRaee
Osama AlRaee started his career in the business world, where he worked for major companies for about 7 years. After gaining some experience he went on to co-found two leading businesses in Saudi Arabia. In 2016, he co-founded Salsa, a leading e-commerce fulfillment company in the Middle East.
Later on and in 2019, he co-founded Lendo, a Fintech startup aiming to help SMEs digitally pre-finance their invoices.
4. Mohammad Jawabri
Having studied computer engineering, Mohammad Jawabri has a great interest in digital products and transformation. His work experience first started in 2011 as a web developer. He then moved on to digital transformation and ecommerce.
Therefore, it does not come as a surprise to see Mohammad venture on his own entrepreneurial journey in 2019 when he co-founded Lendo with Osama AlRaee.
5. Abdulmajeed Alsukhan
Driven and resilient Abdulmajeed Alsukhan has had his share of challenges and entrepreneurial ventures. Having overcome cancer at the age of 26, Alsukhan believes that it is imperative to be resilient and show perseverance in the face of adversities.
"I am doing this because of the challenge. I tell people to build a start-up is like climbing a mountain. Yes, the goal is to go to the summit, but you enjoy the journey [as well] and if it is not challenging it is not worth it.” - Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Co-founder and CEO of Tamara
He first started his business journey back in 2016 when he founded Habli, a last mile delivery company, where he bought some bikes and started delivering orders himself. Later on, Alsukhan moved on to co-found an online grocery startup known as Nana, where he was the CFO until 2020.
However, not long after, and in 2020, he found his passion in Tamara, an innovative fintech company that he co-founded with Turki Bin Zarah and Abdulmohsen Albabtain. Tamara is a digital company that offers buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) options for its customers.
6. Turki Bin Zarah
As an industrial engineer, Turki Bin Zarah has worked as a consultant in global firms up until he became the co-founder and COO of Tamara in 2020.
His experience in consultancy helped prepare him to become a COO to one of the rapidly growing startups in the region.
7. Abdulmohsen Albabtain
A believer in the power and change that comes with empowering the youth, Abdulmoshen Albabtain is a member of MISK foundation, an NGO that aims to empower Saudi youth to become active members of the community.
His driven spirit is also reflected in his work as the co-founder and CPO of Tamara, where he leads the product related activities. Holding a MSc degree in Business Administration and working in technology, Abdulmohsen also became a member of Reforge, the world’s leading career development platform for tech professionals.
8. Ali Bakhallaqi
Ali’s interest in sustainability and preserving the environment extends further than just his work on Tadweem, as he also works as an Empowerment Consultant for Entrepreneurship & Social Investment Organization at Arweqah Alreyadah, an NGO that works on entrepreneurship and social investment.
9. Mohammed Alkhalid
Mohammed’s passion for the environment and using his knowledge and expertise in technology has also helped him be one of the finalists in Young Champion of Earth, an honorary title given to ambitious environmentalists who aspire to preserve our planet.
In addition, Mohammed also believes in the power of the youth and thus is a member of the Young Leaders Advisory Board in Aramco, where he works with the youth to help them understand the company and help the company understand future generations.
“Youth will surprise you with what they can do,” Mohammed Alkhalid, Founder of @nabatik_sa. The next generation of climate leaders is gathering today at the #YouthGreenSummit to take up the mantle on #ClimateAction. pic.twitter.com/jdpUKSjGEk— Saudi Green Initiative (@Gi_Saudi) October 24, 2021
10. Ismahan Al Saad
Co-founder and COO of Playbook, a female centered social media platform, Ismahan has a long history of achievement and experience. Prior to co-founding Playbook, Ismahan worked in the finance and banking sector for almost 12 years, where she held key positions at BNP Paribas.
After gaining extensive knowledge in finance and investment, Ismahan moved on to become the general manager of her family’s business, AlSaad Power Projects. But being the driven and entrepreneur that she is, Ismahan made sure to restructure the company and introduce more diversified and innovative systems into place.
11. Safeya Binzagr
Saudi art pioneer, Safeya Binzagr, is given credit for paving the way for the art scene in the Kingdom. Driven by the desire to showcase the heritage of her country, Safeya established the Darat Safeya Binzagr foundation, a foundation that includes her library, paintings, and research on women’s traditional attire.
Even though Safeya started her foundation back in 1995, she is still taking care of her artwork, receiving art donations, and running painting competitions for children, giving lectures for adults, and still painting.
In the eyes of today’s world, the work of Safeya might not be considered a tech startup that can transform our lives, but in reality Safeya’s work has been an integral part in preserving history and having an authentic haven for art in the Kingdom.
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