PepsiCo partners with AstroLabs, MCIT to empower Saudi Arabian e-commerce entrepreneurs

PepsiCo — one of the leading global food and beverage manufacturers — has collaborated with AstroLabs, an ecosystem builder in the MENA region, and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to launch an innovative new offering for local SMEs. The entities have joined forces to establish the ‘Scale Up Accelerator’ program in Saudi Arabia, empowering entrepreneurs across the Kingdom to fulfill the potential of their businesses.

Fully aligned with Vision 2030, the strategic partnership marks the latest step taken by PepsiCo and AstroLabs to prepare young Saudi entrepreneurs and businesses for success. Launched in mid-January 2023, the program plans to invite 100 entrepreneurs to accelerate their online ventures into full-suite e-commerce businesses.

Crucially, the program will provide up-and-coming startups across the Kingdom with an instructive platform to accomplish their business goals. It will offer access to vital mentorship, as well as educational and training opportunities, equipping them with the tools to succeed in the modern world of business and work.

Participants will be engaged in an affirming environment that fosters growth and development, with experienced and accomplished experts sharing their insights and key learnings. Participants will be exposed to e-commerce fundamentals, gaining an in-depth understanding of how to build an e-commerce plan, invest, and set up businesses in the Kingdom. They will also learn how to improve their technical capabilities and grow their businesses online.

MCIT seeks in this collaboration with PepsiCo to enable entrepreneurs in this program and support them through the “Digital Perks Program” in the Center of Digital Entrepreneurship. The objective of this program is to accelerate the adoption of technology and entrepreneurial culture that contribute to creating new jobs and localizing technologies.

PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, focuses on the creation of sustainable and innovative solutions to socioeconomic issues. Through this partnership, PepsiCo provides support to young entrepreneurs to transform their business vision into successful business ventures.

Aamer Sheikh, Chief Executive Officer at PepsiCo – Middle East, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with AstroLabs and CODE to launch the innovative ‘Scale Up Accelerator’ program. Empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and changemakers to fulfil their potential, this unique new offering will not only prime budding business leaders for success, but it will also help safeguard the Kingdom’s future, setting it apart as the 27th largest ecommerce market in the world.”

He added: “As a brand deeply rooted in Saudi Arabia, we are fully committed to supporting its growth and development. We believe that this offering will do exactly that, preparing tomorrow’s leaders for success in an ever-evolving economic landscape.”

Chief Executive Officer at AstroLabs, Roland Daher noted, “We have been working with multinational corporations and government stakeholders across the region for almost a decade and have seen first-hand the impact of building effective digital networks for up-and-coming brands. Executing this program with PepsiCo has given us the opportunity to capitalize on the exponential growth we’ve been observing in Saudi Arabia. AstroLabs will equip this inaugural cohort with all the necessary know-how, practical skills and tools needed to succeed and scale as a local e-commerce business in the Kingdom.”