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MENA Startups Dominate Podium for Migration Entrepreneurship Prize

The winning startups were selected for their market-based solutions committed to enhancing the socio-economic status and inclusion of migrants within host communities.

Seedstars and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)’s Human Rights Division has announced 20 global startup winners of the coveted Migration Entrepreneurship Prize 2021, with 11 of the 20 winning solutions-driven, high-growth potential startups hailing from the MENA region.

The Migration Entrepreneurship Prize focuses on the regions of sub-Saharan Africa and MENA—hotspots of migration and home to a myriad of displaced peoples driven there by poverty, instability, food scarcity, and conflict. The winning enterprises were demonstrably committed to enhancing the socio-economic status of and inclusion of migrants, offering innovative solutions that produce a positive impact on the livelihoods of migrant and host communities.

“We are proud to support migrant entrepreneurs striving through our collaboration with Seedstars,” said Nina Hälg, who served on the jury panel on behalf of the Swiss FDFA. “They offer market based solutions that will help improve access to services in impoverished regions that will benefit migrants and host communities alike,” she said. 

The strongest regional representation among winning startups came from Tunisia, with ReBootKamp, HackUp, Sghartoon, Fabskill, and iCompass announced as winners. Two were based in the UAE - Lock&Stock and eFlow - while Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Qatar saw homegrown winners in EYouth, Taqadam, Salasil, and CWallet, respectively.

The startups were selected by a panel of experts consisting of Nina Hälg, PHRD Program Manager; Francesca Bombassei, Seedstars MENA Regional Manager; Philippe Rudaz, UNCTAD Economic Affairs Officer; Alvaro Cosi, UNHCR Innovation Manager; and Ana Alvarez, Migration Hub and Migrapreneur Network Founder and CEO.

The winners were granted access to the Seedstars Investment Readiness Program and the Seedstars global network of partners, mentors, and investors.