Addressing the Key Challenges Facing the “Entrepreneurial Streak” in Young Saudis

Mark C. Thompson

A strong entrepreneurial streak runs through young Saudis, who today are becoming “incredibly open to starting up a business of their own,” according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Saudi Arabia 2016/17 National Report, produced by the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College for Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC), a business school based in the King Abdullah Economic City. There is a reason for this: the demographics of the kingdom serve as a double-edged sword, says Marc Andreessen, a prominent American entrepreneur. On the one hand, “the vast numbers of young people coming into adulthood” provide an unprecedented pool of talent for creativeness and innovation; on the other, traditional business models are not able to absorb them all. Therefore, entrepreneurship will have to be part of the solution.