Bringing Palestinian Companies To The UAE

by Zahra Shah

cohort logos

As we recover from what feels like a never-ending pandemic, we at Global Growth Hub are ready to get back into doing what we love - supporting the scaling of companies across the Middle East.

Our latest market access program, in partnership with IPSD and the World Bank, is focused on Palestinian companies who are ready to take the next step to scale across the region and become global companies. The NEXUS program will give Palestinian companies the opportunity to access new markets with a focus on business development, investor matchmaking and company formation and scale.

As part of NEXUS, each company will have the opportunity to access a $25,000, equity-free grant to support its international expansion.

The program launched on the 28th of September with 12 weeks of market access support, where the companies will learn more about the UAE ecosystem and how to create global businesses. Topics will cover key areas such as understanding the UAE customer, macro-economic considerations for international business, and learning about the financial and legal aspects of setting up a business in the UAE.

We’ll also be taking the companies to GITEX, the MENA region’s biggest technology event. The challenge has always been that international VCs struggled to access Palestine, so we’re bringing Palestine to them. The companies will get to pitch at the Supernova Challenge for a prize of up to $100,000, and for the first time, the event will have representation from Palestine.

Meet the Cohort

Meet the 10 Palestinian companies that are a part of the NEXUS program:

  1. JeelCode: A platform offering Arabic coding courses to children (aged 9 to 16)
  2. IRIS Solutions: A provider of interactive sensory environments offering education and therapy-friendly spaces.
  3. SMSM Technologies: Smart City-as-a-Service: SMSM is the app store for cities providing an IoT and AI platform making cities safer, smarter and prosperous for all citizens
  4. MENA Alliances: Helping businesses scale their in-house teams by building remote teams of MENA's top talent, whilst creating economic opportunities for women and young people in the MENA region
  5. Shadana Yoga: The fastest growing Arabic platform for holistic wellbeing, providing yoga, meditation, breathing, holistic nutrition and holistic lifestyle videos.
  6. Naviatx: Measure on-the-road risk by quantifying and scoring drivers’ safe-driving levels.
  7. Fanera:  A dedicated social network for football fans, clubs, and sponsors to connect with like-minded fans.
  8. Salon Beauty Booking: A platform that connects beauty salons, spas, and beauty freelancers to clients interested in wellness and beauty.
  9. Inggez: Helps people get active from the comfort of their home through AI and Computer Vision-guided workouts in partnership with fitness instructors.
  10. Ketshwa: Ad technology that provides a one stop AI and machine learning platform, uniting all ad providers and maximising their revenue on their entire traffic inventory.

Here’s why they’re excited for the program:

“We are excited to join the Nexus program for the great need it solves for us. We recently signed our first regional client and believe that the Nexus team can offer us great support and enhance our chances of success in current and new markets! We also see a huge advantage to being matched with potential investors and business partners, accelerators, and mentors.  On top of it, the project is individualised to the needs of every startup, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach which shows the level of skills and expertise that stand behind the Nexus program.” - Naviatx

“This program will support us to access regional/international markets by providing technical market access services and grant funding to bridge gaps we face in accessing new markets and expanding in existing ones. This kind of support will help us create more economic opportunities for women and young people in Palestine” - MENA Alliances.

“We are excited to join the Nexus program in order to explore new networks, markets and opportunities that would arise from this program.  We further believe that collaborating with like-minded people would reflect positively on the innovation  and diversification of our products, and would give us a constructive overview and feedback on our startup.” - Marketplace Investments

This NEXUS program is the first of a series of market access projects that we will be managing to provide overlooked entrepreneurs with access to markets across MENA. By creating unique networking opportunities and offering the right resources, we can see these companies growing to the UAE and beyond.

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