Conclusion of Biban Forum 2023

13+ Billion USD Concluded Agreements and 145,000 Visitors.

Biban Forum 23, organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (referred to as “Monshaat”) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and within five (5) days only, has achieved a record number in the cash value of agreements and initiatives concluded. Such amount reached 52 Billion SAR (approximately 13.8 Billion USD), while the number of visitors to the forum exceeded 145,000 visitors.

The Forum, held between 9-13 March 2023 under the slogan "Opportunities Create Leadership", concluded its events after presenting several important opportunities and activities that support the accelerated development of the Kingdom in the Small and Medium Enterprises and entrepreneurship sector.

The franchise section welcomed visitors through a range of activities and services aimed at increasing the expansion of opportunities in local and global franchise trademarks.

The franchise section aims at introducing the concept of commercial franchise and services provided by the Franchise Center, presenting investment opportunities in Franchisors’ global and local trademarks, connecting with concerned authorities to support the franchise system, as a model for local and global investment expansion, spreading the franchise culture and upgrading the skill level of Franchisees, Franchisors and other relevant parties in the field of franchise.

This section targets: entrepreneurs desiring to obtain a franchise, investors interested in obtaining investment opportunities in the same field, as well as establishments wishing to expand using the franchise model, beside other parties and relevant entities in the field.

The section provided training, rehabilitation, mentoring and other opportunities for visitors among Small and Medium Enterprises project owners and entrepreneurs in the field of franchise, serving as a milestone in the world of entrepreneurship, providing young people with opportunities to learn about investment opportunities and enhancing the expansion of national trademarks, spreading the culture of franchising, upgrading the skill level of Franchisors, Franchisees and other relevant entities, introducing the Franchise Center and its effective role in supporting the sector, as well as linking stakeholders within the system itself.

Support and Training

The section also enabled the owners of emerging brands to benefit from the support provided by the concerned authorities within the franchise system, by offering numerous activities that assist the beneficiaries in the same field; such as accessing investment opportunities, learning and utilizing the services provided by the Franchise Center, as well as furnishing workshops and awareness seminars related to the field, and providing opportunities to benefit from global and local experiences through the provision of consultation sessions.

The Forum provided several training courses that serve beneficiaries in the same sector, such as trying the franchise experience and supporting a sustainable franchise. The section also furnished its services in the field of brands evaluation and broker licensing, Franchise Manager service, The Ambitious “Tomouh” program, trademark display service, as well as access to financing services, amicable settlement and franchise registration.

Franchise Magazine Award

Biban Forum 2023 witnessed the launch of the Franchise Magazine Award for some of the leading Saudi brands in franchising.

The award ceremony was held at the Biban Talk Theatre, with the presence of the Franchise Centre’s representatives, Mr. Khaled Al-Mahfouz, Mr. Ahmed Al-Arfaj, as General Manager of the Franchise Centre and a the crowd of visitors attending Biban 23 Forum.

Mr. Khaled Al Mahfouz delivered a speech in which he confirmed that the Franchise Centre, since its inception, has been developing brands to implement the franchise system and contributing to increasing the number of trademarks operating in the Saudi market. The Franchise Center seeks to improve the position of Saudi Arabia on the international arena, promote the Kingdom as an attractive destination for global franchise, encourage local Saudi brands able to manufacture products and provide services to expand locally and globally, which results in increasing the share of the small and medium enterprises sector in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030. Mr. Al Mahfouz stressed the importance of promoting the award to be an annual prize, subject to evaluation based on clear standards and scientific assessment, which will eventually lead to motivating and encouraging trademarks to work by the franchise system and in compliance with the objectives and aspirations of the Franchise Center.

Mr. Ahmed Al-Arfaj stressed that the award aims at encouraging the promotion of the franchise system, motivating Saudi trademarks to expand, spread and upgrade the franchise sector pursuant to the established regulations, and encouraging fair competition among trademarks owned by franchisors.

Mr. Ahmed Al-Arfaj added: "We are very ambitious about the future of this award and looking forward to cooperation of all entities to establish an annual prize evaluated based on accurate standards, achieve the objectives of the awards, to honor the trademarks owned by franchisors and encourage international trademarks to enter the Saudi market. Mr. Al-Arfaj congratulated the honored brands owners, wishing them continuous progress, great success and good reputation, noting appreciation and respect for all trademarks not receiving the award, stressing that another event will be held next year to honor new trademarks in the field of franchise.

After that, a number of brands were honored, namely:

I-be - Sanabel Al-Salam - Mishraq - Reef Al-Arab - Mantou Rose – Ratio Cafe - Arikat Al-Deira - Shormeeh.

2000 Local and International Investors

The Investors Hall witnessed nearly 2,000 local and international investors and entrepreneurs seeking direct investment in their start-up companies, while the Investors Arena witnessed the participation of more than 550 entrepreneurs who presented their projects before investors in the arena, resulting in initial approvals from investors totaling more than 30 Million SAR.

Biban 23 hosted the final qualifiers for the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and the fourth day of the forum witnessed the announcement of the winners of the Cup, while the World Champion for entrepreneurship was announced and won by the Saudi platform “WhiteHelmet”, and the prizes for this competition are estimated 1,000,000 USD.

Biban 23 also witnessed the holding of the Draper-Aladdin competition, with the participation of more than 52 startup companies, which competed for an investment of up to 500,000 USD, in addition to the winner getting an opportunity to promote his establishment on the Meet The Drapers television program. At the same time, several Hackathons and prizes worth 10 Million SAR were launched; aiming at developing and supporting business and innovative enterprises in the Kingdom.

In terms of e-commerce, more than 90 potential entities, digital solutions and service providers have participated in the forum. Memorandums of understanding have been signed with several local and international entities. Most notably, a memorandum of understanding between Monshaat and GoDaddy Company. The company offers, through such memorandum of understanding, rehabilitation, training, discounted services and consulting for startup companies. Additionally, the agreement between Monshaat and Zoho Company provides free services to e-commerce startup companies. Furthermore, the agreement between the E-Commerce Council and the National e-Learning Center provides 5,000 training and qualification opportunities for human cadres in sectors supporting e-commerce. While 12 projects were produced from the E-commerce Accelerator and the second batch of the Accelerator was released. Ecommerce Theatre also offered a scientific program in the presence of more than 50 local and international speakers and 40 workshops. It is worth mentioning that Biban 23 is one of the important events supporting the accelerated development of Saudi Arabia in the Small and Medium Enterprises and entrepreneurship sector. This Forum contributes to providing a stimulating environment in partnership with all possible and supporting entities from the public and private sectors.

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