Female entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia has received a major boost thanks to the signing of an MoU between Shell Intilaaqah KSA and Al Rajhi humanitarian foundation.

The agreement between Shell Intilaaqah and Al Rajhi humanitarian foundation, which will enable 100 Saudi women to acquire the essential knowledge and skills to successfully start-up and develop their own businesses, was signed by Andrew Crowe, Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and Dr Rasheed Alzharani, General Manager, Al Rajhi humanitarian foundation.

The MoU signing was also attended by Dr Khalid Al Rajhi, and Mr Sultan Rowilly, the Vice Chairman, and Stakeholder Engagement Manager respectively, of the Al Rajhi humanitarian foundation.

The one-year pilot, launched this month, will provide 100 female participants with enterprise skills training and coaching through Shell Intilaaqah’s intensive enterprise development programme. Of the participants who successfully complete the Intilaaqah programme, the 10 candidates with the strongest entrepreneurial acumen and most viable business plans will be selected to receive start-up funding from Al Rajhi of up to SR 300k (US $80k) each.

Commenting on the MoU signing, Andrew Crowe, Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, said, “I truly believe the Shell Intilaaqah programme is a great initiative that helps Saudi entrepreneurs. With such cooperation with Al Rajhi humanitarian foundation, we should be able to make even more of a difference.”

Welcoming the collaboration with Shell Intilaaqah KSA, Dr Khalid Al Rajhi, Vice Chairman of Al Rajhi humanitarian foundation said, “We are looking forward to working together with Intilaaqah and benefitting from the organisation’s experience in CSR.”

Mohammed Abusaif, Programme Manager of Shell Intilaaqah KSA, said, “Intilaaqah is keen to build a strong network with those who can make a difference for Saudi entrepreneurs. Al Rajhi is one of those organisations.”

Sulaiman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi Charitable Foundation is one of the most important donor organisations in Saudi Arabia. It focuses its efforts in supporting registered, non-profit organisations designed to help the educational, health, social, and religious sectors.