CEO of the Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF), Mohab Murrar affirmed the importance of establishing a fund that acts as an incubator for entrepreneurship and offers technical support, along with its role in promoting direct and indirect funding for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in addition to providing private financial institutions with extra funding, to achieve sustainable development. The discussion took place during an interactive session organized by Orange Jordan at its BIG platform, with the participation of entrepreneurs, media representatives, and interested people in the field.
Murrar presented the fund's work mechanism in the Jordanian market. With an estimated capital of 98 million USD; a 50 million USD investment by the World Bank and 48 million USD by The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), ISSF provides SMEs and entrepreneurs with direct and indirect support, where ISSF would directly invest in SMEs and provide mechanisms that would enhance and develop the entrepreneurial environment in Jordan. On the other hand, indirect investment in the next five years, will take the shape of investing in local, regional or global investment funds willing to invest in the Kingdom.
Murrar also showcased the fund's four pillars of focus which include: designing the Business Development Services 75 program, which will assist 75 startups which are already ready to seek funds, or help startups which did not succeed in receiving funds. The second pillar focuses on Angel Investors, with the aim of bringing them together, to form a single network, or group of networks that can invest large amounts in emerging projects. The third pillar focuses on investment readiness and preparing entrepreneurs, to attract investment opportunities. Murar pointed out the obstacles faced by entrepreneurs, which include a lack of talent and skill, and the inability to present and market their idea. The fourth pillar focuses on the establishment of an accelerator or incubators within organizations, universities, and business parks, to promote entrepreneurship, yet this idea is still work in progress.
It is worth mentioning that the ISSF was established in response to the first recommendation of the Economic Policy Council (EPC), and was registered with the Companies Control Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in December 2017, as a private joint stock company owned by CBJ and Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC).
Orange Jordan has organized this interactive session through its growth-mode accelerated program, BIG, stemming from its five-year corporate strategy, "Essentials 2020", as part of its ongoing efforts to provide support and guidance to Jordanian startups and present them with the latest market updates and investment opportunities.