Future of Entrepreneurship in the Arab World

Mohammed Al Fardan

Where do Entrepreneurship in the Arab world stand, where it’s going and honestly speaking is there one!

Where do Entrepreneurs go to get funding in the Arab world without having a single true venture capital firm, and if there is I am not aware of!

Learning from the rest of the world and looking at great companies started from nowhere is amazing, why I can’t see one global firm started from here as a startup. Having all the money and great young generations in the region trying their best to make it, but still known family businesses still control all sectors.

Will these rich families and rich firms invest in any start up in the region no matter how great project it is?

We need to have a moment of truth to review the startup ventures in the region and their status, we need to realize in the region the fact that SMBs are the future to grow the economy, to create new businesses and therefore to create new jobs for youngsters. We need to create and support venture capitals in the region as well as we need to have the right expertise to look into these new startups, guide them and fund them. To succeed, venture capitals must be non-government firms that look into these new ventures as pure businesses and pure investment opportunities. Moreover, we need to have the legislation for the venture capitals and for these startups.

In my view based on experience, we need to implement the following measures to create the right culture and the right environment for Entrepreneurship:

Create and attract venture capitals in the region.

Intensify the venture capitals to encourage and support entrepreneurs in the region.

Create competitions in the region to encourage entrepreneurships.

Create legislations for venture capitals.

Look into the requirements of creating SMBs and ensure they are reachable for startups.

For these venture capitals to be interested in the region, we need to have the mechanism to enable them to exit their initial investments profitably. To do so we need to be exposed to the major international firms which are currently looking at new startups in certain places and therefore you find a lot of these venture capitals are very active in these certain places I am referring.

Governments play a major role in supporting such major economical initiative which will contribute big deal in the economic growth and creation of jobs in the region. Governments will be required to leverage on their political ties and strength to help these entrepreneurs and start up to be exposed to the international players.

Major contribution of Governments to make this happen is creating true grants, to attract entrepreneurs from other countries to come and create their startups which will lead to creating an excellent culture and environment for entrepreneurs. Furthermore, all this will lead into creating new jobs and a very attractive business culture.

Unless all that is looked at seriously and urgently, we can forget about Entrepreneurship in the Arab world for the time being!

(The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the gccstartup.news or TMA Worldwide & images have republished with the author’s permission)

About the Author
Mohammed Al Fardan has around two decades of ICT experience in starting up Middle East & North Africa operations for international ICT firms such as IBM, Lexmark, Microsoft and Software AG. He is an award winner Entrepreneur who lived the multinational culture and achieved a very successful growth in all his ventures. He has top executive contacts across the MENA region and he established leadership in the ICT industry.
He managed acquisitions and created venture capitals focused on ICT industry in the region. As well as he attracted many ICT firms to come and work in the MENA under his leadership. He was awarded the Entrepreneur of the year 2014 at iTech Gulf.

He created the concept, technical study and master plan for MENA ICT hub city, which is the first and only fully integrated smart city in the world as stated by industry experts.
At the end of 2007, he created successful partnerships and entered into Oil & Gas, Real Estate, Motors, Yachts, Aviation, Heavy Constructions, Civil Engineering, Marine & Maritime Engineering, Hospitality, Jewellery, Fragrances, Energy, Investments, Venture Capitals, Travel & Tourism, and Pharmaceutical.

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