Startup MENA: Empowering Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa

It was an amazing experience — the level of knowledge from mentors and investors was beyond any events we have attended.
Moataz Kotb
Founder, ZEX
In 2014, we partnered with The Danish Foreign Ministry to deliver a 2 year program stimulating economic growth in the private sectors of Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia.

Seeding a Startup Ecosystem

Since 2003 The Danish government has been actively collaborating with the Middle East and North Africa to strengthen cooperation and support the ongoing reform and democratization of the region.

However, political revolution and unemployment still threaten to impede the successful democratization process in some countries in the region. Stimulating job creation has therefore become a key objective for The Danish-Arab Partnership Program across the region.

Job Creation in the MENA Region

In 2014, high rates of unemployment continued, particularly amongst young people, despite many being well-educated, ready to work and keen to actively help shape the future of their countries.

It was in this context that we were challenged to design and deliver a program with The Danish Foreign Ministry: creating jobs and growth through entrepreneurship.

Leading Through Value

As our team was new to the region, we knew that the existing ecosystem would measure us on the basis of the value we displayed. To ensure our event attendees left with new insights, knowledge, and inspiration, we brought in experts, high-profile international mentors, and investors to all our events.

We Delivered a Range of Events to Support and Encourage Local Startups:

  • Two investment labs
  • Two 48 hour hackathons
  • Four women’s meetups
  • Six mini bootcamps
  • Three open offices
  • Two job fairs
  • Two investor pitch events
  • One corporate matchmaking event
  • A series of intensive, high impact workshop

Over Two Years We Hosted 27 Events Across Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia

90+ jobs created
820+ entrepreneurs
70+ partners
130+ startups engaged
160+ mentors engaged
10.000+ in network

Take an ecosystem approach for real impact

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