Navigating the Gulf ecosystem for startups


On September 22, AGSIW hosted a virtual panel discussion examining the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and energy market outlook on startups and entrepreneurial initiatives in the Gulf.

The coronavirus pandemic and energy market outlook pose a crucial test for startups and entrepreneurial initiatives in Gulf Arab states. Recent interest in ed-tech and health-care startups directly relates to new public health measures. However, Gulf governments introduced entrepreneurial programs to support local employment and promote commercial hubs following previous economic shocks. Incubators and accelerators backed by long-term government funds provide continued support for entrepreneurs. Regional governments also seek to grow private equity and venture capital funds that focus on Gulf markets as part of efforts to expand private sector involvement in the region’s ecosystem.

The interrelated economic crises that emerged in early 2020 present new commercial opportunities for some Gulf startups, but many ventures will struggle to attract investments and adapt to changing consumer preferences. What sectors and industries reflect growth areas for Gulf startups? How can Gulf-based startups thrive in the current commercial environment? What new obstacles have emerged within the region’s ecosystem? And where can Gulf-based startups expect to find willing investors and enablers over the coming months and years?

Watch the webinar below now that features MAGNiTT CEO and Founder, Philip Bahoshy.

August 2020 saw a 48% drop in the number of deals, while total funding on the other hand increased by 93% when compared to the same month last year. Discover more trends and insights in our August 2020 Dashboard.