New e-commerce platform launched to support SMEs

August 03, 2017
Layan Damanhouri

Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – A new e-commerce platform was recently launched to provide small businesses and entrepreneurs a free space to sell their products online.

The 9/10ths program, a government initiative under the Human Resources Development Fund, launched Tojjar, a service for productive families and entrepreneurs looking to boost their businesses online.

While selling via social media has become popular in recent years, its setbacks include payment issues and difficulty in delivery for some. Having a reliable platform to buy and sell is safer and more efficient, its representatives said during a workshop at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.

1,300 businesses have registered in Tojjar, available in a website and mobile app, offering products and services by productive families and entrepreneurs in several categories namely children’s toys and items, handcrafts, art, food, home decor, fashion, health and beauty. Delivery, payment services, marketing services are available to use when signing up.

“It’s important to support entrepreneurship since it creates more employment for youth and relies less on the government to provide jobs,” the program’s consultant in the Western Province Dr. Taghreed Alsarraj told Saudi Gazette.

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, among others.

Such initiatives are done through partnerships with various entities in the public and private sector.

Entrepreneurship in the Kingdom, particularly in the Western region, has been evident since early times, Alsarraj further says. “The government is now reviving a new ecosystem for entrepreneurship under the Vision 2030.”

Tojjar’s service links only with Saudi companies as third-party operators, such as Saudi delivery companies, to promote local businesses.

During the workshop when asked about the concentration of the program’s services in the Riyadh region and some of its services that are not completely available in other regions, Tojjar’s representatives said the HRDF’s main headquarters are situated in Riyadh and plans to gradually increase the program's presence in the Western and Eastern regions in the coming months.

August 03, 2017
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