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Platform launched to connect local talent with expatriate communities

By Nadeen Jumai’an - Dec 31,2020 - Last updated at Dec 31,2020

AMMAN — Amid the backdrop of escalating economic and political uncertainties in the region, two young men have launched a platform to connect local entrepreneurs with diasporas and expatriate communities of their respective home countries around the world.

Marwan Abdelhamid from Palestine and Timothy Motte from France started the digital platform GrowHome to connect local communities abroad with creators back home whose startups would benefit from links abroad.

Diasporas and expatriate communities, according to Abdelhamid, are “very capable” of supporting Arab entrepreneurs through networking, collaboration and mentorship.

“What we’re trying to do at GrowHome is to link local entrepreneurs with diasporas and unleash human capital,” Abdelhamid told The Jordan Times.

“To rid communities from intellectual and economic stagnation”, the founders of GrowHome aim to “build bridges” and centralise the networking process.

Abdelhamid said that the idea for the platform came out of his own “survivor’s guilt” after moving to Amman in 2007 from Gaza.

“Problems create jobs,” he said.

He felt a moral obligation to help his “brothers and sisters” in Palestine, who he thinks are motivated and driven to help their communities thrive.

“These people strive to build self-sufficient and resistant communities, arguably more than others,” said Abdelhamid.

The creators of GrowHome are confident that the talent and skill in Palestine is strong, and with the financial and intellectual support from the diaspora, they can create wonders.

“It’s a fact that diasporas have more opportunities than people in Palestine, we have more access to resources that we’re not using for the benefit of our own people,” he added.

He believes that diasporas are willing to help, but that “the dominant donor-dependent culture limits the ways in which meaningful change can be created”.

In Gaza, where unemployment rate stands at 45 per cent, GrowHome seeks to promote the entrepreneurial spirit that could potentially alleviate Palestinians from economic distress, Abdelhamid said.

GrowHome hosted its premier pitch night, “Shark Tank” event, as Abdelhamid likes to call it in November to “connect Palestinian entrepreneurs with diasporas to provide mentorship, collaboration and funding opportunities”.

The event was a success. For example, a startup with a connection in Saudi Arabia was presented and discussed, another entrepreneur was able to connect with the World Bank.

GrowHome is launching its application in January.


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