LONDON: Riyadh is leading the way in the Arab world when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship, a study has revealed.
Analysis by the company Dojo, which specializes in smart payment solutions, said that the Saudi capital topped a list of Middle East cities in terms of “ambition, innovation and harmonization of the legal and operational environment for entrepreneurship.”
Riyadh also scored well globally in the study, ranking 14th in Dojo’s list and beating several major capitals and cities around the world, including Ankara, Berlin and Tokyo.
The Saudi capital was also ranked eighth among cities in the G20 countries included in the list.
The report ranked London first globally, followed by Sydney and Cape Town.
The study examined factors such as city population, levels of education and an individual’s share of gross national product (GNP), as well as the cost of launching a new business, the number of registered startups and the volume of digitally based researches on entrepreneurial solutions.
The study relied on open-data figures and international statistics on entrepreneurship and innovation.
Riyadh’s status as a regional leader in innovation and entrepreneurship was also backed up by Magnitt’s Entrepreneurship Report.
According to Magnitt, investment in capital financing in the Kingdom increased by 55 percent in 2020, reaching a record level of $152 million, while funding in startups in Saudi Arabia was faster than the average across the MENA region.
There was a 13 percent increase in total funding for startups and SMEs from 2019 to 2020 in 17 countries in the region, while the Kingdom’s growth was 55 percent.
Saudi Arabia also bucked the regional trend in the number of financing deals in favor of new startup companies, recording growth of 35 percent during 2020, as opposed to a 13 percent drop across the MENA region.
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