[Infographic] Saudi, We Have a Problem: Where Are the Real Entrepreneurs

If you missed my previous post, Saudi, We Have a Problem: Where Are the Real Entrepreneurs, here’s a chance to pick up the main points of the article in one summarized infographic. The full text of the infographic is also written below the image for those who prefer text.


Saudi, We Have a Problem: Where Are the Real Entrepreneurs

Saudi Arabia is full of what I call wanna-preneurs.
They attend entrepreneurship events, call themselves entrepreneurs, and even get other people to call them entrepreneurs, but they’re not real entrepreneurs.

Here are the 5 categories Saudi wanna-preneurs fall into:

1. The Employee with the Hobby
✔ Has nice website, service, product, or retail outlet
Still has traditional job or attends school full-time
Not devoted to their company full-time
Unsure about self, product, service, and/or market

Hobbyist, not entrepreneur.

2. The Employee with the Portfolio
✔ Takes risk by investing money in other companies
Still has traditional job
Not directly involved with the companies they invest in

Investor, not entrepreneur.

3. The Rich Boy (or Girl)
✔ From wealthy or business-oriented family
Starts a few small businesses
Relies on money from parents to start businesses
Turns to family for support if anything goes wrong
Doesn’t branch out from family’s areas of specialty
Doesn’t take real risks or expand company

Rich kid, not entrepreneur.

4. The Tajir
✔ Buys wholesale, sells retail
Understands basics: finding wholesalers, opening store, putting together product mix, pricing
Easily replaceable: anyone with basic skills and adequate funding can do what they do
Doesn’t improve standard wholesale-to-retail model to grow and sustain company
Doesn’t focus on branding
Doesn’t include value-added services (delivery, excellent product mix, integrated products)

Trader, not entrepreneur.

5. The Franchisee
✔ Runs a small business (or, if they are not the owner-operator, invests in a company via a chain store)
Didn’t create brand, products, services, or business concept they profit from
Pays an entrepreneur royalty fees

Small business owner or investor, not entrepreneur.

Let’s review.

  1. Running a side project while working a day job or attending university isn’t entrepreneurship.
  2. Investing in other companies isn’t entrepreneurship.
  3. Running a small business fully backed by your rich family isn’t entrepreneurship.
  4. Buying and selling other people’s stuff without adding innovative value isn’t entrepreneurship.
  5. Owning a franchise business that you didn’t have a hand in creating or developing isn’t entrepreneurship.

Saudi Arabia has a serious problem.
There aren’t many Saudi entrepreneurs who are truly homegrown. Future entrepreneurs, their families, the community, and everyone else in Saudi Arabia must take responsibility for creating real entrepreneurs.

Let’s define entrepreneurship.
A true entrepreneur is someone who does all of the following:

  1. Has an idea
  2. Creates a product or service
  3. Creates a company
  4. Creates a brand
  5. Creates a customer base
  6. Puts together the product mix
  7. Puts together the pricing mix
  8. Grows their company and makes it go national or international
  9. Overcomes challenges
  10. Does it all over again and again

Saudi Arabia needs more entrepreneurs to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
We need to create new sub-economies in Saudi Arabia outside of the traditional economy of oil and gas, real estate, and low-cost manpower businesses. Without the economy created by entrepreneurs, job growth will remain at low levels. We will not see young, self-made millionaires and billionaires that will contribute to the prosperity of Saudi Arabia.

This country needs your help to create an entrepreneurial business environment.
So quit your job if you have to, drop out of school if you have to, and get serious about entrepreneurship!


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