Women represent less than 20 percent of small-business owners globally. However, when we examine Saudi Arabia, women represent 17.7 percent of the total number of entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Saudi women represent just 3.8 percent of entrepreneurs worldwide compared to 5.4 percent of entrepreneurs in developing countries and 9.2 percent of entrepreneurs in developed countries.

Women who have gone into business themselves have an even lower profile than those who have Women Entrepreneurs in KSA hired female employees in their companies,” says Aida El-Enany, a leading consultant to entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia.

She also pointed out that women entrepreneurs often have the burden of taking care of their families while running their own companies, which could make them reluctant to try. “It’s a dilemma for women because the family cannot be sacrificed in order to be successful,” she said.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, along with Qatar and Bahrain, has been one of the world’s largest investors in startups since 2012. Saudi Arabia alone holds nearly a third of the world’s private venture capital with $3.1 billion invested globally, according to GEM.

There is no law in Saudi Arabia requiring women to be educated.

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