As part of its Essentials2020 strategy announced earlier this year and its continued efforts to support entrepreneurship in the Kingdom, Orange Jordan has announced the launch of "BIG" — a growth-mode startup accelerator program aimed at young entrepreneurs. The announcement was made during a press conference held at the "Grow" building of the King Hussein Business Park, headed by the operator's CEO Jerome Henique.
An acronym for "Business Innovation Growth". BIG will help Jordanian startups expand into new markets and reach more customer segments, targeting established startups who are looking for mentorship, a fully-equipped space to propel the growth of their businesses. The program will focus on critical development areas like investment needs, product improvement, customer development and business support.
Orange Jordan will be leveraging on its various resources to help the program's beneficiaries manage and fund their projects, including the technologies offered through its core business, its ever-expanding global network, and the support of its partners in the program, Oasis 500 and Ro'ya TV. This will be achieved by exposing the startups to Orange's international eco system, granting them access to global acceleration programs, world-class mentorship programs, exhibition events and international exposure.
Orange Jordan will also provide entrepreneurs with a co-working space at the King Hussein Business Park (KHBP), offering them the basic infrastructure required for running a modern business, including office furniture, creative space design, high-speed internet and telecom solutions, among others. Orange Jordan has signed a cooperation agreement with StartupJo — a company that allows young entrepreneurs to promote their brands, products and services — to operate the working space at KHBP. The partnership was conceived to guarantee a sustainable model for business operations and to ensure long-term engagement with entrepreneurs and startups.
"Startups have common challenges and go through familiar cycles and processes on their way to success," explained Orange Jordan's CEO, Jerome Henique. "On average, 9 out of 10 startups fail, and in developing markets like that of Jordan, even greater challenges emerge. This is where growth-mode accelerator programs like BIG come into play; they allow small businesses to more effectively leverage on existing opportunities and offer guidance and support through all the stages between concept and implementation."
The first wave of start-ups that will benefit from BIG are Trevx, Yaqut, Play 3arabi, Masmoo3 and DIGAT.
During the press conference, Henique also announced the three winners of the 2015 Orange Developer Challenge local prize, which the operator launched earlier this year. The challenge, which spanned 12 countries, was conceived in an attempt to spur and nurture the creation of unique and local services for Africa and the Middle East from the growing entrepreneurial base in the region. After receiving a total of 44 applications from Jordan, ten were shortlisted to compete with candidates from other countries in the challenge's second phase, three of whom will be receiving the challenge's local prizes. The winners are Ali Tabbalat for his application Green Wallet; Dr. Abdel-Karim Al-Tamimi for his project Katabji; and Ahmad Hammad for developing the SCOD service