Risks faced by SMEs
The number of SMEs has increased in Kuwait since the establishment of the National Fund for SME Development (the “SME Fund”) in 2013. The SME Fund accepted 245 project applications in 2017, 44% of which were commercial business ideas. The amount of financing approved that year was KD 50,125,458 and resulted in the creation of 850 jobs for Kuwaitis. Since its establishment until the end of 2018, the SME Fund spent a total of KD 167 million.
There are certain risks that SMEs are exposed to in Kuwait’s market, and to manage them and mitigate their outcomes, firms need to be able to identify, analyze, treat, and monitor these risks. For the sustainability of a project, it is helpful to know what the kind of risks an SME might face, which is further discussed in this article.
One of the main risks to monitor for is Operating Risk, which is uncertainty from associated core operations of a business and is linked with the variability of product demand and prices of supplies. There is also the risk of changes in human resources or the hiring of incompetent or fraudulent employees and failed processes for the internal operations of the business.
COVID-19 Impact on SMEs
Holistic Development & Consulting, along with three consulting firms in Kuwait, conducted a study on the impact of the Corona pandemic on SMEs. The study analyzed the businesses performance of around 160 SMEs in terms of sales value which decreased by a monthly average of 59% and a decrease in gross margin by 66%. As for the decrease in net operating profit by 303% which resulted in a decrease in liquidity ratio by 26%.
The study shows a decrease in average number of workers by 13.1% with a decrease in the average value of salaries and wages during the crisis by 46%. The study emphasized on a important observation, a delay of 58% of the participants in paying their monthly rents.
Risks faced by SMEs
Kuwait's Holistic Development And Consulting Helps Entrepreneurs Understand Risk Management
Launched in 2016, Holistic Development & Consulting was founded by Abdulrahman Al-Duaij and Abdulaziz Al-Houqal when they noticed that there’s an opportunity gap between SMEs and advisory firms from a risk management perspective.
The duo -who are both Managing Partners- has a combined 20 years of experience as risk managers in Kuwait Finance House, wherein, daily, they met entrepreneurs with ideas that required direction and guidance when dealing with market exposure and volatility. They witnessed that most of the defaulted businesses have common issues that revolve around weak financial management, bad quality of data and limited know how in managing liquidity which resulted to massive default.
“We realized the help that entrepreneurs needed was not accessible to startups,” says Al-Duiji. “We believed with our experience and academic backgrounds, we are able to make a difference.”
Holistic & Prometeia Partner in Supporting Banks & Investment Companies in Kuwait
Kicking off 2020, Holistic Development & Consulting, a financial consulting company from Kuwait founded and managed by two Kuwaiti partners, and Prometeia, a global leader in Risk Management consulting and software solutions, announced their strategic partnership with the intention of providing all-inclusive support to banks and investment companies in Kuwait.
“We believe our collaboration with Prometeia will expand the range of our offerings to banks and investment institutions in Kuwait. By working with a global specialist team and having a strong local knowledge we will develop solutions tailored to Kuwait market’s needs. At Holistic we believe it is our responsibility to help our economy grow and prosper,” stated Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Holistic Development & Consulting Abdulrahman AlDuaij.