Saudi Aramco to finance 250 women-run projects

Bena’a Productive Families Center (Jana) in the Eastern Region and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company ( Saudi Aramco ) have signed a partnership deal to develop skills amongst women to own and run small-scale projects in different parts of the Kingdom.

According to the deal, Saudi Aramco will fund 250 projects to be launched and run by women during the next six months. Part of the program will be dedicated to train productive families and prepare women both economically and socially to realize production sustainability for their projects, according to local media.

The deal was signed by CEO of Jana Mahmoud Al-Shami and director general of Public Affairs at Saudi Aramco Isam Tuwfiq for their respective parties.

Meanwhile, a Saudi Aramco official said his company would continue supporting such projects within the framework of its social responsibility. The company will also train the families and put its expertise at the disposal of those families during the upcoming stages, he said.

For his part, Jana Chief termed the deal a success for both parties to realize their common objectives in the promotion of productive families and the creation of professional jobs for women in all parts of the Kingdom.

Jana plans to create 9,500 jobs for women next year in eight cities including Khobar, Dammam, Ihsaa, Qasim, Hail, Jazan, Arar and Jouf where the program will enable women to master their own productive tools and possess the ability to develop them economically and socially through Jana branches kingdom-wide, he said.

Jana Chief said the rate of repaid loans received by the beneficiaries has so far reached 99 percent, which is higher than expected compared to similar projects inside or outside the Kingdom. This is a clear indicator of the success of such projects and at the same time demonstrates Jana’s efficiency in collecting loan installments from thousands of customers throughout the Kingdom.

It is to be recalled that Gezira Bank has signed a similar deal with Jana for the provision of an interest-free loan of SR 2.5 million to support productive families in different parts of the Kingdom.

© Arab News 2013, Jan 30 2013