AMMAN — Reham Al Zughier claimed the award for Best Jordanian Startup Founder of the Year at the Jordan Start-up Expo 2022, which concluded last Thursday.
Zughier founded the non-profit organisation “C-Path” in 2022 with the goal of “economically empowering youth” across the Kingdom by organising various training and career guidance programmes.
“Investing in the potential of youth is the right path towards an economically and socially vibrant Jordan,” Zughier told The Jordan Times.
She also discussed the rising rates of unemployment, and the challenges facing startups in Jordan.
The entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Kingdom has created an “enabling environment” for tech startups through incubation and acceleration programmes as well as incentives and tax exemptions, according to Zughier.
However, she pointed out that other sectors likewise require support to encourage investments and innovation.
She added that challenges faced by entrepreneurs and startups in Jordan include a lack of funding and guidance, as well as an inability “to study the targeted market of the service or product well enough to identify feasible ideas”.
Moreover, Zughier noted that the “lack of access to finances for female entrepreneurs” is the main reason women are underrepresented among business-leaders in Jordan.
More concrete steps should be taken towards “the financial inclusion of female entrepreneurs”, such as providing loans catered to their needs, she said.
“Developmental areas” in Jordan are also in need of specialised laws to encourage investments and create job opportunities across all 12 governorates, as “Jordan is not just Amman”, she added.
Potential solutions, Zughier suggested, include reducing the tax burden and administrative fees as well as facilitating the registration process for businesses.
It’s also important to ensure the “sustainability of emerging businesses”, she said, noting that Jordan is abundant with human resources in need of greater and more effective utilisation.
The increasing rate of unemployment requires a change too, she added, pinning hope on the new investment law to facilitate the growth of Jordan’s startup ecosystem.
“Always believe in yourself and what you have to offer,” Zughier said, addressing aspiring young business leaders.
An entrepreneur needs to be patient, dynamic and resilient, she added.
It’s also important to understand that starting a business takes time and requires commitment and constant improvement fuelled by “a dream one aspires to realise”, she continued.
Networking and drawing up well-researched action plans are also essential in the world of business, according to Zughier.
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