The Centennial Fund, which has already extended grants to 16 projects in its pilot program, is not only providing financial support to young men and women, but also grooming them to be dynamic entrepreneurs able to contribute to the Saudi economy over the coming decades. A total of about SR5 million [U.S. $1.34 million] is available in the Fund. In the pilot program, twelve men and four women between the ages of 18 and 35 were awarded start-up funding for their own businesses.
The Fund received 3,694 valid applications from young Saudis, including 744 women; of these, 100 were short-listed before the final 16 were chosen for the pilot program. Another 23 winners will be announced within the coming few weeks.