Saudi businesswomen leave SR50bn of assets unused
- Saudi Arabia: Thursday, December 10 - 2009 at 10:45
Despite the fact that Saudi businesswomen own approximately 20,000 small and medium businesses, the amount of their funds that remain unused in banks in Saudi Arabia is estimated at around SR50bn, due to the reluctance of female entrepreneurs to seize investment opportunities offered because of the lack of adequate facilities for them in some sectors.
Statistics reflect the nature of women's participation in the kingdom's general economic activity, where the percentage of female graduates reached 56.5% of the total number of graduates. Women constitute 14.11% of the workforce in the kingdom, 30% of the public sector, 84.1% of the public education sector, and 40% of Saudi doctors. More than 20% of Saudi joint investment funds belong to women.
Investments by women represent about 21% of the total investment in the kingdom's private sector, while there are 43,000 registered companies owned by businesswomen in the various regions of the kingdom.
Saudi businesswomen have more than SR45bn, or 75% of the savings in Saudi banks. SR8bn worth of investments belong to Saudi women, while their total real estate investments stand at around SR120bn.
Despite the large volume of investments many obstacles prevent the entry and expansion of more women into the investment field, which force them to keep their funds and capitals frozen in bank deposits.
A working paper based on economic statistics provided by the Secretary-General of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce, has affirmed the importance of providing technical support to businesswomen to help them in completing projects and administrative procedures relating to government bodies. It also advocates paying attention to information related to women's business activities and monitoring the obstacles facing women entrepreneurs and finding quick solutions to them.
The working paper has also called for the establishment of an industrial city for women and for supporting women's products to replace imports, especially in basic industries such as clothing, perfumes, accessories, footwear and garments. The study also emphasized the need to focus on the idea of establishing women's sections of the Chambers of Commerce in the kingdom's regions, noting that 90% of the commerce chambers see the importance of the setting up special departments to serve businesswomen.
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