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Don’t be afraid of failure, ICT investors tell entrepreneurs

By Mohammad Ghazal - Feb 16,2014 - Last updated at Feb 16,2014

AMMAN — Finding talented human resources that possess the needed skills is the biggest problem facing start-ups in Jordan and the Middle East, Fadi Ghandour, founder and vice chairman of Aramex, said Sunday.

Citing the initial results of a study by entrepreneur support platform Wamda that covered 1,000 experts and entrepreneurs in the information technology sector, Ghandour said the second most pressing challenge facing start-ups is how to take business across the border.

He announced the findings of the study, the details of which will be released soon, during the second investment matchmaking event “DealMakers’ Weekend”, which was held by the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan ([email protected]) and Endeavor Jordan, attracting scores of investors and entrepreneurs.

During the event, experts in the ICT sector urged start-ups in Jordan and the region to stay focused and persevere, and never to be afraid of failure.

Start-ups need to reach markets other than where they are based, they said.

“Middle East entrepreneurs need to understand that success and failure are very normal… the life of start-ups is not very easy,” said Ali Karabey, managing director of 212 Limited.

“It is important to support small- and medium-sized projects in the region because they will have a tough time in the upcoming stage in light of the current economic conditions…for start-ups, they will not grow if they do not think globally, especially in the ICT industry,” Karabey said at the event.

Mohammad Tahboub, former chairman of [email protected], said banks and governments need to do more to support small- and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups to help the ICT industry, as over the past two years some 50 companies and start-ups shut down their offices.

“IT sector revenues dropped by 55 per cent over the past four years, which makes it necessary for start-ups and companies to focus on exporting,” said Tahboub.

The “DealMakers’ Weekend” is a regional activity bringing together investors and companies operating in the ICT and ICT enabled services sectors to explore Middle East and North Africa region investment opportunities in a setting that promotes networking, capacity building and collaboration, according to [email protected] 

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