The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), Princess Nourah University (PNU) and Wipro Arabia Limited, a subsidiary of Wipro Limited, a leading information technology, consulting and business process services company, today inaugurated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s first all-women business & technology park. The project is expected to create nearly 20,000 jobs for Saudi women over a period of ten years.
The Women’s Business Park (WBP) is a result of a joint venture between Princess Nourah University (PNU), the largest women’s university in the world, and Wipro Arabia Ltd. Saudi Aramco is an advisor to and anchor tenant of the WBP. Dedicated to working women, this business park is a first of its kind project aimed at providing knowledge-based employment for women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The joint venture agreement was signed at a ceremony held at PNU, attended by H.E the Minister of Education, Dr. Ahmad Al-Issa, PNU Rector, H.E Dr. Huda Al-Ameel, Saudi Aramco President & Chief Executive Officer Mr. Amin H. Nasser, and Mr. Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro Limited.
The WBP is envisioned to be the largest engineering drafting services, information technology and business process services hub in the region for a number of industry sectors including oil & gas, manufacturing, government, healthcare, telecom and construction.
The idea of the business park was conceived in September 2014 when Saudi Aramco signed a memorandum of understanding with PNU. Wipro joined the partnership because of its experience in managing talent and providing IT services to a multi-industry customer base. The joint venture will be responsible for developing the park’s facilities and infrastructure as well as training and employing up to 20,000 Saudi women.
Dr. Huda Al-Ameel, Rector of Princess Nourah University said, “The goal of the WBP is to create 21,000 jobs by 2025 and give women a critical role to play in a way that serves the objectives of the nation and to build a knowledge economy with societal and international partnerships. We also aim to provide a start-up eco-system to upcoming entrepreneurial ventures. In a country where women represent about 60% of all university graduates, but less than 15% of the country’s workforce, the WBP is poised to be a milestone initiative.”
Mr. Amin H. Nasser, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco said, “Saudi Aramco is proud to be part of the creation of world class facilities that enable employment opportunities for qualified Saudi females. This one-of-a-kind facility in the Kingdom is the result of close collaboration between partners from private and public sectors and is aligned with the Kingdom’s strategy for sustainable economic development and long term localization initiatives.”
Speaking about this partnership, Mr. Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro Limited said, “Wipro has always extended support to the cause of women empowerment and it is our endeavor to foster an environment that encourages and enables more women to participate in business and tap their leadership potential. It has been more than a decade since Wipro began its operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and localization has always been an important aspect of our business strategy here. We are happy to be a partner in this initiative which strongly aligns with our values.”
The park will be developed on the iconic PNU campus, and will include entrepreneur incubators, daycare centers and a one-stop coordination center for government transactions.