From adventurous startups tackling the epidemic of sexual harassment, Fintech game-changers, to social ventures re-shaping design, the Arab world is buzzing with ingenious startups innovating their way to tackle the region’s most pressing problems. But what are the region’s 100 best? That’s what the World Economic Forum (WEF) is setting out to find ahead of their annual regional conference, set to take place near Jordan’s Dead Sea from May 19th to 21st.
The initiative, titled Startup4IR, was launched in a joint effort with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), aiming to pick up the best 100 startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in order to integrate them into the stream of innovations associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Information & Communications Technology); a theme that was adopted at the 2016 WEF conference in Davos.
The forum will bring together over 1,000 top notch leaders from governments, business firms, and civil society across more than 50 countries. Participants who were accepted will have the opportunity to network with a community of influential policy-makers from the region, as well as leading CEOs, to help solve the most pressing issues facing the region. In addition, those selected will get access to the forum’s network in order to partner with WEF members on future projects in the region.
“It is very important for startups to meet decision makers and politicians, because it gives entrepreneurs a more holistic perspective. For example, instead of thinking merely about revenues, entrepreneurs could be encouraged to start thinking about how to lift their countries’ GDP as well,” said Mirek Dusek, the WEF MENA regional head.
The deadline to apply is April 3. For more information and application, click here.