Entitled: "Start-ups' impact on the Jordanian economy"
The launch of BIG by Orange summit under the Patronage of H.E. Prime Minster
Gharaibeh: Supporting entrepreneurs and providing them with a suitable environment is our responsibility
Marigny: BIG is a successful model for supporting entrepreneurship in Jordan
On behalf of H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Omar Razzaz, H.E. ICT Minister Mothanna Gharaibeh inaugurated recently the BIG by Orange summit, which was held at King Hussein Business Park (KHBP), organized and hosted by Orange Jordan, with the participation of around 300 entrepreneurs, investors and Jordanian decision makers in different private and governmental sectors.
H.E. Mothanna Gharaibeh, CEO of Orange Jordan, Thierry Marigny and Chairman of the Board of Directors at The Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan (int@j), Dr. Bashar Hawamdeh participated in the first panel that was directed by PR, CSR, and Corporate Communication Director at Orange Jordan, Eng. Rana Dababneh. H.E. Mothanna Gharaibeh said that: "The government, and in cooperation with the World Bank, has launched a survey to identify the most important challenges facing the entrepreneurial ecosystem, as the number of challenges define the work plan that will be put in place".
He added that there is a volunteering team and joint effort between the government and stakeholders to enable the success of this sector, pointing out that it is the government's responsibility to consider the constructive feedback and work on facilitating and promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in accordance with the regulations.
CEO of Orange Jordan, Thierry Marigny, stressed that holding the second edition of the summit reflects the success of the first one held last year and highlights the company's interest in entrepreneurship, stemming from its belief in the significant role that the youth plays in supporting the national economy, as entrepreneurship is considered to be a real generator of job opportunities.
Marigny said that the study that was conducted in cooperation with the company, German Development Cooperation Office (GIZ) and int@j is considered very important, as it shows the size of start-ups, number of males and females employed in the sector, and existence of start-ups in terms of location on one hand, and what governorates they are concentrated in on the other hand, and how much do these start-ups contribute to the Gross Domestic Product. The study also gave suggestions on how to enhance start-ups' situation and assist them in playing a bigger role in contributing to the national economy.
During the welcoming panel, Marigny presented the company's growth-mode accelerator program's (BIG) achievements, where it worked with 31 start-ups, affirming that the program during its six seasons demonstrated the advanced level that start-ups have reached in Jordan, which is evident from the success stories of the companies that have joined the program during its past five seasons.
The company also supports the presence of these start-ups in international forums and conferences to facilitate their networking with investors and meet their leading counterparts around the world to exchange experiences and ideas.
Dr. Hawamdeh discussed the entrepreneurship sector, saying that: "Entrepreneurs are only present in Amman, affirming that the real dilemma facing entrepreneurs is not related to funding, but rather about finding customers for their innovative products".
He also said that the Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund ("ISSF") has USD 100 million and so far, it has not been able to invest in more than one company, which demonstrates the importance of presenting innovative projects related to facilitating people's lives and their demands by the youth segment, pointing out that when young entrepreneurs start working, they focus on the financier and pay no attention to the customer, and this is a common mistake among youth entrepreneurs.
He also asked young entrepreneurs to focus at the beginning on customers, as this will increase the value of their products and attract investors' attention.
During the summit, start-ups provided investors and businessmen with a detailed explanation about the entrepreneurial ecosystem n Jordan, with regards to planning, statistics, key players and challenges, in addition to proposing ways of cooperation with start-ups and entrepreneurs.
During the summit, success stories of local and international start-ups were shared, in addition to discovering potential investment opportunities, as well as discussing challenges and difficulties that startups face on a local and international level. Furthermore, ideas and solutions were exchanged.