JEDDAH: A new initiative in NEOM and Tabuk is providing financial support and training to help people working in the local crafts sector develop their businesses.
Craft+ was launched this month by NEOM’s Social Responsibility Program and the Dulani Business Center, a key Social Development Bank program. It runs for two weeks with the aim of empowering and supporting home businesses and micro-enterprises, and providing development and training assistance to help local craftspeople improve the efficiency of their operations and contribute to the development and sustainability of business in the Kingdom. This is in line with the aims of the NEOM megacity project and Saudi Vision 2030.
Craft sectors targeted by the initiative include embroidery and fashion, jewelry making, painting and sculpture, sadu (traditional Bedouin weaving), palm industries and the manufacturing of perfume and incense.
The program concludes with a five-day bazaar in Tabuk Park Mall that will begin on June 18 and be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day. Items made by the participants will be on show to raise awareness of the importance of local crafts, and available to buy.
The initiative is taking place under the auspices of NEOM’s Social Responsibility Program, which aims to empower local communities to unlock their potential, preserve their culture and heritage, contribute to the economic growth of NEOM, and succeed in the work environment of the future. It aims to achieve this by 2025 through transformational educational and training programs, entrepreneurial and employment initiatives, and community development efforts.
NEOM also recently launched an initiative designed to provide employment opportunities for local residents, and aims to provide training and upskilling programs to at least 7,000 people by 2025. Since 2020, NEOM has also provided training in the English language and information technology to more than 1,000 residents of the surrounding areas.
The Social Responsibility Program has also organized a series of workshops, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Think Tech, to enhance digital literacy and increase digital awareness.
In January Saudi authorities announced that a huge zero-carbon smart city will be built at NEOM in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The project, called The Line, will be home to a million people and have no cars and or roads.