The Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Centre Company (Wa’ed) has set out its objectives to support local enterprise in Saudi Arabia for the rest of the decade.

Speaking at the Middle East Process Engineering Conference (Mepec) in Bahrain, Jamal Naboulsi, chief operating officer of Wa’ed, said that by 2020 the target was to have funded 250 new ventures through the programme.

He stressed that Wa’ed was not solely aimed at funding energy companies and would consider applications across several sectors that have been identified by Riyadh as beneficial to the domestic economy. “[Wa’ed] was created to help diversify the local economy and we have a number of different objectives to address this,” Naboulsi said. “We are eager to work with anyone who fits the criteria.”

Wa’ed offers funding to any potential small or medium-sized enterprise and also works with international companies to help them find local suppliers for major projects.

Sectors that are targeted for potential funding include:

  • ICT
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Energy
  • Supply chain
  • Chemicals
  • Solar
  • Engineering services

The company aims to increase the use of local procurement from 33 per cent today to 70 per cent by 2020. It is also aiming to ensure that local suppliers qualify to be part of its international partner’s respective global supply chains.

Partners already signed up to the scheme include:

  • GE (US)
  • Schlumberger (US)
  • Siemens (Germany)
  • Sadara Chemical Company (Local/US)