Turathuna on a mission to champion Saudi entrepreneurs.
Who are the people or companies behind Torathuna? What made you establish a social responsibility company?
Torathuna was initiated by Saudi Aramco TOTAL Refining and Petrochemical Company (SATORP) in cooperation with the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals (MINPET). The purpose was to actively preserve heritage for future generations by supporting local entrepreneurs and local craft businesses in the Kingdom.
SATORP launched Torathuna in support of their vision to be a recognized member of the local community and an active leader in the CSR field. We strongly believe that by helping develop local skills, focused on the crafts that were passed down generations, we can be part of a society that contributes positively towards economic diversification in KSA.
How would you describe the art and heritage climate in Saudi Arabia? What is Torathuna doing to prolong preservation?
Saudis have strong passion and appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s rich culture. This passion is found strongly in the visitors of cultural events such as the Janadriyah Festival. These events are used as a means to preserve traditional crafts and cultural heritage. They, however, last for a specific period of time and sometimes lack quality or authenticity.
In Torathuna we promote long-term development and sustainability for all the projects and ideas. We encourage the artisans and craftsmen to learn how to best design their products. We assess the quality of their products and projects, map the urban market and make art more suitable to the global environment. To ensure the authenticity of heritage we require the recruited craftsmen to be Saudi.
How does the funding aspect work? How can you make the company sustainable?
The funding and support comes from SATORP. The process begins when interested entrepreneurs approach Torathuna. After the interview and other necessary evaluations, the scope of the project is finalized. The project documents are sent to the Board Manager for evaluation and approval.
Upon approval, funding is delivered to the entrepreneur on an installment basis. A grace period, ranging 6-12 months, is assigned depending on the nature of the project. The loan repayment period can be up to 5 years or more based on the amount.
What kind of support do most entrepreneurs need?
Different kinds of support that include but are not exclusive to: marketing development, technical training, financial aspects, HR and company governance. To achieve the needs of all entrepreneurs we use our expertise to develop and help the projects when needed.
How can we, as a community, help preserve the artisan culture in the city?
By supporting local products and projects. People can also guide artisans to the supporters and developers such as Torathuna.
“Eight years worth of planning became nine months of execution with the help of Torathuna.” – Abdullatif Al Dulaim, Founder of I Oud
“I had a bucket list, and having my own store was on it. Thanks to Torathuna, I’m finally going to cross it off this month,” – Raed Zeyad Bin Saeed, Founder of Gumesh for Prayer Beads