09.10.16 Kuwait has demonstrated its commitment to the country’s growing SME sector, pledging a further KD2bn ($6.6bn) towards its National Fund for SME Development, established in 2013 as the first single entity for SMEs in the Gulf region.

The fund, overseen by the World Bank’s technical assistance project, assumes responsibility for everything from business licensing to financing up to 80% of capital for feasible projects.

Key objectives include the creation of a “one-stop shop” to facilitate the process of acquiring an operating license, as well as promoting business development. These are welcome initiatives for businesses and entrepreneurs in Kuwait, at a time where there is continued focus on the development of the non-oil sector. Earlier this year, the 136 Call Centre was launched to help address regulatory uncertainty and excessive time spent dealing with government regulations, which have been identified as among the most significant barriers to SME growth, according to a 2014 World Bank survey.

Most recently in August, the fund signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) to address a backlog of 250 patent applications at KFAS, which would be either partially or fully financed by the fund.

It seems Kuwait is continually enhancing its attractiveness to not just start-ups, but businesses looking to set up a branch or establish a partnership or distributor agreement in its ever-growing marketplace. Something the team at Aeon Gulf definitely deem as good for business, and good for our clients.

For more information on setting up business in Kuwait, please contact girair.artinian@aeongulf.com