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Bazaar for small entrepreneurs
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 14 - 09 - 2008

A bazaar was organized for Saudi families engaged in cottage industries at Al-Muhamedia Street here on Friday. Many businesswomen and female investors participated in the bazaar that offered a range of different styles of abaya, accessories, clothing and traditional handicrafts.
“We were surprised that some of the organizers of the top shops in Jeddah have unfortunately decided to achieve financial gain through such bazaars and festivals by renting exhibition space at a high cost for big, well-known companies. They have forgotten that the main reason behind holding such bazaars is to support small Saudi entrepreneurs,” said Sahr Al-Alawi, the bazaar organizer.
Families engaged in small cottage industries should be the only group to benefit from bazaars rather than famous companies.
“My primary aim is to encourage Saudi designers and give them an opportunity to show their artistic creations inspired by Saudi civilization. This bazaar is not meant to promote well-known products,” added Al-Alawi.
According to Al-Alawi, such bazaars will have a positive impact as they contribute effectively in supporting cottage industries as well as encouraging people to invest in small projects. That way they will have an effective role in society and can contribute to the Kingdom's economy, he said.
Nuha Mahmoud, a Saudi student who graduated from King Abdul Aziz University three years ago, is jobless and finds it difficult to participate in such bazaars because of the exhibition area's high cost.
“I am participating in this bazaar for the first time. I could not participate earlier because of the high cost of exhibition space,” Mahmoud said.
“I know that it is expensive for some families or women to pay two thousand or even one thousand (riyals) for renting an area in the bazaar. But you cannot imagine how much we gain from these bazaars,” said a Saudi woman, Soaad Hassan. __

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