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The great disruption is here. In 2021, we've seen innovative solutions and major changes in the ecosystem that are paving the way for even bigger changes that are coming.
We're all aware that change is the law of life, so why not use it as a business tool and train ourselves to catch the next wave?
This year in his podcast series The Change Officer, CreITive's CEO MENA Vuk Zlatarov gave us a unique insight into the visions and predictions of more than 50 leading players of the MENA business ecosystem.
So, what is the change ahead for the MENA region? Let's break it down into 3 categories.
From the start-ups perspective, according to Feras Jalbout, the CEO and founder of Baraka, the unified MENA market would be a game-changer.
With a population of almost 600 million, MENA could become a global force and even more fertile ground for start-ups with a unified market that resembles the EU. Feras sees the future of the region in the younger generations.
This generation grew up in the digital era and they are practically digital natives. They want products that they can call their own. Seamless, easy to use, and effective.
In the next couple of years, we are going to see a positive change in demand for products that are offering that.
Talal Bayaa, Co-Founder and CEO of Bayzat, predicts high growth of capital invested in start-ups. As advice to all entrepreneurs Talal highlighted:
Competition is going to be even bigger in the future so founders will have to decide between one of these two strategies in order to prosper.
Kareem Elsirafy is the Managing Partner at Modus Capital, venture builder firm with offices in New York, Cairo, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.
Kareem emphasized the importance of the "human capital".
Many entrepreneurs don't have prior experience in starting and building a business. They have the relevant knowledge, but they don’t know how to commercialize it.
That’s why investing in programs that can help them learn and share their experiences could be the change that can really make a difference.
Carsten Kølbek, Co-Founder of Rainmaking - a venture building company with over 900 technology companies in their portfolio, goes even further and claims that building an entrepreneurial mindset could be a solution for the biggest world problems.
Carsten’s vision marries two worlds. But, instead of focusing on short-term profit, we have to encourage venture builders to invest in a better future for the whole region.
We have to believe in the impact that we are making on nature and the whole business ecosystem.
Abe Seksek, COO at Startupbootcamp, also believes that impact is the most important aspect of venture building.
The founders that are changing the MENA ecosystem are making an impact and changing the mentality.
Can venture capital be a force for good? Noor Sweid, one of the World's Top 50 Women in Tech and General Partner at Global Ventures, says we should align capital with a positive intent and leave the world a better place than before.
Noor sees the future of venture capital space in collaboration, not competition.
Arjun Singh, MENA’s Head of Financial Services at Arthur D. Little, feels that we are in some kind of “flux” right now.
40-50% of the region’s GDP is coming from small and medium-sized enterprises. Arjun predicts that this is going to increase even more in the coming years. In the future, SME’s will employ up to 85% of the workforce and become an engine for the economy.
We will see SMEs partnering with other service providers in an integrated manner, and addressing the all problem together.
Manar Mahmassani, Founder of Stake, believes that what we need to change in the region is the mentality.
Every market has a unique set of features and Manar believes that here, in the MENA region, we can be more successful in the real estate business because of the special opportunities that the region offers to people coming from different countries.
Unified MENA market, a fusion of services, cybersecurity, sustainable solutions, new government regulations... These are just some of the keywords for 2022.
What connects all of these terms is embracing change, and shifting the focus towards more sustainable solutions.