A new financing website for small businesses has been launched in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom’s Social Development Bank and Gulf International Bank (GIB) have teamed up with fintech company Beehive to offer firms funding between SR100,000 ($27,000) and SR3 million ($534,000).
Small businesses often find it difficult to tap traditional bank sources of finance, especially startup companies with little trading history.
The sector has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with small firms often lacking the cash reserves to ride out enforced lockdowns that have forced many businesses to shut up shop and lay off staff.
“Saudi Arabia is currently a hotbed for fintech innovation and has a booming untapped MSME economy, making it an obvious destination for a digital lending product for micro and small enterprises,” said Beehive CEO and Founder Craig Moore.
Developing the SME sector is a central plank of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic reforms, which aim to reduce the country’s reliance on oil revenues and boost private sector participation in the economy.
Beehive was originally established by entrepreneur Craig Moore and supported by Rick Pudner, former group CEO of Emirates NBD bank. The cloud-based online lending platform directly connects businesses looking for finance with investors that can provide funding support for their growth.
The Food & Beverage industry saw increased investment activity over the last 5 years, jumping from just 10 deals in 2015 to 54 in 2019. Discover more trends and insights in our 2019 F&B MENA Venture Investment Report.