There’s been a marked uptick in the investment activity across the Middle Eastern countries in Asia recent years. More interesting is the investment into the entrepreneurial landscape across these economies.
It is no secret that countries across the Arab world such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and others have been desperately trying to wean their economies off of their decades old dependence on the oil and gas resources. A positive trend to have come out of this change in their strategies is the spurt in the growth of the startup culture across these economies. The promising startup scene in that part of the Asian continent has caught the eye of investors and drawn the attention of the governments as well.
The government support to the local entrepreneurial landscape is exactly what these economies require to develop a vibrant and growing private sector.
The governments of these countries are especially serious about supporting such initiatives as they fear instability once the oil resources run out and the huge young population is left unemployed. The Arab spring provided a snapshot into the potential dangers of such a scenario.
The startup landscape across these countries presents huge potential. In a short span of a decade, the startup sector has been able to place itself on the world map especially in the eCommerce sector. The Arab world is home to large and growing populations which is young and tech savvy. There is a high level of Smartphone penetration, trading power and app usage which allows ample room to the potential entrepreneurs for disruption and innovation. Furthermore, the youngster is upbeat and hopeful about its ability to start its own business and they have favorable views of entrepreneurship than their elder generations.
There has been a proliferation of startups over the last decade in this part of Asia and they have been able to build an enabling eco system which will help them to grow and expand further. The accelerated growth has come within the last 7 years alone as 60% of the top 200 companies were set up between 2012 and 2015.
Principal start-ups have raised over $2 billion since 2005. Within the last 7 years, a number of incubators and venture capitalists have emerged, having observed the promising potential in the startups from the region that gave birth to success stories such as Careem. Today there are a number of venture capitalists such as Wamda Capital, Silicon Badia, Sawari Ventures, Beco and more.