The Saudi government has launched Tojjar this week, a service for productive families and entrepreneurs looking to boost their businesses online.
The platform—which is floated by the 9/10ths program, an initiative under the Human Resources Development Fund—aims to provide small businesses and entrepreneurs a free space to sell their products online.
According to experts, while selling via social media has become popular in recent years, its setbacks include payment issues and difficulty in delivery for some, which is what Tojjar attempts to solve.
Tojjar’s service links only with Saudi companies as third-party operators, such as Saudi delivery companies, to promote local businesses.
So far, 1,300 businesses have registered in Tojjar, which is available as a website and mobile app, offering products and services by productive families and entrepreneurs in several categories.
These categories include children’s toys and items, handcrafts, art, food, home decor, fashion, health, and beauty.
The e-commerce service is among several other products recently created by the 9/10ths program in helping entrepreneurs, such as connecting startups to freelancers and companies, connecting SMEs with large government contracts, and an accelerator program.
Saudi Arabia has seen a lot of institutional support crop up for entrepreneurs.
The number of entrepreneurship support organizations—such as funds, coworking spaces, incubators, and accelerators—in Saudi Arabia nearly tripled from 13 to 36 between 2011 and 2015, according to The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Status of the entrepreneurship ecosystem report released by Wamda Research Lab (WRL).
These entities include funding organizations (30%), events (17%), business support (15%), incubators and accelerators (14%), university/technology parks (12%), and coworking/fab labs (12%).
In addition, non-governmental organizations and funding institutions are also offering mentorship, training, and capital for entrepreneurs, the report said.