KAUST partners with the University of Texas to empower Saudi women through entrepreneurship

The University of Texas at Austin Texas Global Empowering Saudi Women Through Entrepreneurship

The University of Texas at Austin’s Global Innovation Lab (GIL) is hosting the Empowering Saudi Women Through Entrepreneurship program in partnership with the KAUST with funding awarded by the U.S. Consulate General Jeddah.

This initiative focuses on building the capacity of women entrepreneurs in western Saudi Arabia to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and expand access to Saudi domestic and global markets.

With an engaging curriculum that combines immersive in-person learning with self-paced training and workshops, participants will learn the essential building blocks of creating and growing a successful business venture, as well as methods for crafting unique business models to bring new products and services to market.

The program is designed to:

· Identify women entrepreneurs who are developing technologies and products with global export and growth potential to help solve pressing Saudi societal and economic challenges, particularly in the underserved area of western Saudi Arabia.

· Transfer the knowledge necessary for starting a successful entrepreneurial venture and building capacity to ensure long-term sustainability.

· Promote entrepreneurship as a means to stimulate economic growth, create better-quality jobs, open new markets and increase global economic security and prosperity.

· Create, strengthen and expand a women’s entrepreneurship network in Saudi Arabia that encourages and facilitates the transfer of skills and sharing of resources between members.

· Explore opportunities to introduce selected Saudi women entrepreneurs to the extensive global network of The University of Texas at Austin and to the city of Austin’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, thereby broadening participants’ global influence and impact.

· Design a sustainable strategic plan to offer program participants relevant knowledge and skills of lasting value that will remain applicable to their work beyond the term of the program.

The program takes place September 2021–September 2022 and implements the Innovation Readiness® Series, GIL’s online self-paced entrepreneurship training, web-enabled sessions and in-person workshops. The program will train up to 50 entrepreneurs, eventually selecting five to travel to Austin for gaining exposure to the top-rated U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem. There, the five participants will receive training in business modeling, market assessment and effective company governance.