The World Economic Forum (WEF)

The WEF Spotlights Startups

The World Economic Forum rolls into town this month with the aim of recognizing the region’s most promising startups.

American research and advisory firm Gartner has called it the “Nexus of Forces,” which is when social, mobile, cloud and information come together to create digital businesses. The new wave of economic growth resulting from this intersection has created business models that did not exist in the past, and today are taking over the world.

“What everyone is realizing, including the WEF, is that the current business models are being disrupted, threatened and overturned by a new wave of business concepts that could not have been possible without technology,” argues Faisal Hakki, the CEO of the Amman-based Oasis500 accelerator. He cited the likes of Uber and Careem, both taxi hailing services, as examples. Both companies are mobile enabled with very strong social solutions that are leveraging big data and cloud computing.

What makes this phenomenon even more relevant to our region, which according to the World Bank needs to create close to 100 million jobs by 2020, is the fact that today these businesses are considered the main engines of job creation worldwide.

The WEF, which holds a meeting in Jordan this month, decided to use the occasion to pay tribute to 100 of the most prominent startups in the MENA region.

Mirek Dusek, Head of MENA, World Economic Forum, told Venture for the first time his organization will capture the “disruptors”; the startups that have already entered the market and are making an impact.

The founders of these startups will be given a chance to take part in the summit’s conversations and sessions alongside the regular businesspeople and decision makers…


Read the rest of this article in May’s issue of Venture magazine, and check out the list of Jordanian startups that have made it onto WEF’s 100 Arab Startups list. Available now on stands across the Kingdom.