Startup Communities

8Jul

Common Mistakes Why You Fail To Raise Money (And What Can You Do About It)

During my work with more than 350 Startup Weekend events in the Middle East and Africa, I have realized that it is always down to those 6 common mistakes why some community and startup events fail to raise money. Here are the most common mistakes, and what can do you do about it: 

1) Setting A High Budget

SOLUTION: If you are planning to raise $10K, ask yourself, can you revise your plan to accomplish the same with $7K? Most of the time, organizers ask for arbitrary round numbers like $10K or $15K instead of the actual amount of money needed to achieve specific milestones.

Think about what can you cut. Work to re-budget. Spend a little bit less on marketing. Cancel your fancy T-shirt and video producing.

Be creative how you can spend the money productively. Spend time polishing your budget forecast, so that you can confidently tell sponsors why you are only looking for $7K, and why you know, you can achieve high quality with less capital.

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10Jan

How Can Entrepreneurship Build Peace in Conflict Zones?

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+150 startups were created in Syria last year—from BitCode, a platform to teach youth how to code in Arabic, to Clerk, an AI system for improving the recruitment process. The conflict in Syria has affected the population in many ways, but it has not stopped entrepreneurs from solving the problems they encounter in their daily lives every day.

In various studies, experts have shed light on the importance of empowering entrepreneurs and creating employment in the conflict zones —even while conflicts are still ongoing— to improve the level of security in post-conflict countries.

Startups like the ones mentioned above have the potential to create much-needed jobs in regions where few jobs exist. They can further help as mechanisms for finding innovative solutions for critical problems in the region.

Over the past five years, I have investigated entrepreneurship during the period of armed conflict in Syria. I spoke to hundreds of

entrepreneurs and uncovered some incredible insights. The results indicate that the conflict in Syria had inspired a new wave of innovative youth to tap into unexplored fields that generate new ideas and embracing new business models; 17.6 percent of Syrian youth tried to work on startup ideas in 2014, and the figure climbed to 31.2 percent in 2015. Read More »

21Aug

Refugees Are Not A Burden; They Are An Opportunity!

 

Given that the act of picking up and moving to another country is an inherently brave and risky decision, it should be of no surprise that refugees and immigrants have repeatedly been found to be more entrepreneurial than locals.

Economic activities of refugees are generally heavily restricted by legal constraints, including limitations on movement, no labour market access or only partial access, and denial of financial and nonfinancial services for entrepreneurs.

Dealing with the refugee crisis is a huge challenge, and it should involve people from both host and refugee communities working together to create greater opportunities. We need to breakdown walls between people and build an inclusive and collaborative community and exchange of time, experiences and expertise in order to achieve mutually beneficial results.

Refugees are more likely to start businesses than locals. They are hungry to succeed, which has more to do with playing to win and less to do with playing with percentages. It is a survival game.

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27Jun

4 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Post Conflict Zones Startups

 

There are over two billion people currently living in countries where fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) impact development outcomes. Startups in those areas are on the rise, with an increasing number of entrepreneurs using innovation and technology to counter war effects. Rather than abandoning entrepreneurs in conflict zones, the international community should reward their endeavors. Here are four reasons why as an investor consider investing in post conflict zones startups:

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24Apr
Syrian entrepreneurs in Jusoor entrepreneurship competition 2017

Most common mistakes among Syrian entrepreneurs

 

Through closely working with over 60 Syrian startups that joined Jusoor’s entrepreneurship competition, I observed many mistakes that most Syrian entrepreneurs make:

Not Handling Co-founder Conflicts Well

Every co-founder situation is different, but one common problem that keeps popping up revolves around ownership and control. Founders are important not because they are the only ones whose work has value, but also because a great founder can bring out the best work from everybody at his/her company. Read More »

19Feb

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What it means to the MENA Region!

 

The MENA region has its fair share of initiatives to move towards the 4th industrial revolution – Dubai has launched the blockchain council and some Arab countries are willing to transfer to self-driving cars so what could be the outcomes of these to the region? What could it hold up?

This year, I’ll be at World Government Summit and the first Arab Youth Forum in Dubai on Feb. 12–14, which brings government, futurism, technology and innovation together under one roof. These events set the tone for the impacts of technology on businesses, governments, and societies.

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