|10 February, 2020

Angel investors make up just 5% of investment in MENA pre-seed startups

Women account for only a quarter of founders, WAMDA report finds    

Image used for illustrative purpose. Businessman showing client where to sign document.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Businessman showing client where to sign document.


The majority of investments in startups in their early stages in Middle East and North Africa region is from the founders who are bootstrapping their firms with help from friends and family, according to a recent report.

“There is great room for growth for angel investors who make up just over 5% of investment,” said a report by startup ecosystem enabler WAMDA in collaboration with STEP Conference on 'The state of the pre-seed startups in MENA'.

The region’s startup ecosystem also still lacks gender balance, with only a quarter of founders being women.

The report also clarified the profile of the entrepreneur of the Middle East, as being university educated, aged between mid-twenties to mid-thirties, and having significant corporate experience.

“Encouraging entrepreneurship is vital to the development of the Middle East’s economy, and so better access to such kind of data will enable all the different stakeholders to take action,” said Triska Hamid, editorial director at Wamda in a statement.

The findings of the report are based on data from 627 startup founders who applied to the Wamda X fellowship program.

It also showed that the UAE remains the MENA region’s hub for entrepreneurship. Of those surveyed, 35.5 percent are based in the UAE, followed by Egypt at 26.5 percent.  The sectors identified include e-commerce, fintech, healthcare and marketplaces.

 (Writing by Nada Al Rifai; editing by Anoop Menon)


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© ZAWYA 2020

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