With $870 million spent on startup investments in the last year alone, the region's startup ecosystem is bound to grow, says the tech powerhouse.
A recently published article by TechCrunch smashed misconceptions about the Middle East, proving that, contrary to people's belief, the region is booming with an entrepreneurial spirit. With 85 million people of the region’s 160 million active online and high smartphone and broadband penetration, the region is full of opportunities. According to research by MAGNiTT, about 3,000 startups were launched in the region and over $870 million were spent on startup investment last year alone, with the UAE becoming the region’s startup hub, as it boasts 50 percent of the MENA’s top-funded startups.
The MENA region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has been steadily developing in recent years, with big exits signalling a significant shift in the region, including Amazon’s acquisition of Souq for an estimated $800 billion, as well as German-based Delivery Hero’s acquisition of Talabat.
Egypt in particular has been making noticeable progress in this area; the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s report found that Egyptians are changing their views on entrepreneurship, as over 73 percent of the population now actually think of it as a career choice.
The article by TechCrunch found that around 8 percent of the region’s businesses have a digital presence, with 1.5 percent of the region's sales being transacted online. This means that there is plenty of room left for more growth, a fact governments are paying attention to, a shining example being the Egyptian government recently setting up a EGP 450 million fund to invest in local startups.