NashamaStart Project: Revolutionising Jordan’s Tech Startup Ecosystem

NashamaStart Project: Revolutionising Jordan’s Tech Startup Ecosystem

In the vibrant landscape of Jordan’s entrepreneurship, projects like NashamaStart emerge as a continuation of hope and opportunity, positioned to sustain the direction of the nation’s tech startup ecosystem. Born from a collaboration between the Jordanian Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE) and Leaders International (LI), and funded by The World Bank, NashamaStart stands as a part of the Youth, Technology, and Jobs (YTJ) project. Partners are driven by a shared vision of driving Jordan to the forefront of the global technology revolution.

At the heart of NashamaStart lies a profound alignment with Jordan’s strategic imperatives for economic diversification, job creation, and technological advancement. With a focus on empowering 48 carefully selected tech startups through a comprehensive suite of advisory services and legal aid, the project exceeds entrepreneurship support—it becomes a catalyst for socioeconomic transformation.

His Excellency Mr. Ahmad Al Hanandeh, Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, expressed his enthusiasm for this project, stating, “We are dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship in Jordan and providing support to entrepreneurs and startup owners through various programs and projects overseen by the ministry.” By nurturing the growth of these startups, NashamaStart not only promotes a culture of innovation but also lays the foundation for a more inclusive and resilient economy, one driven by knowledge, creativity, and ambition for expansion.

The insights obtained from the Magnitt Jordan Venture Investments Report (2018-2022) serve as a testament to Jordan’s entrepreneurial potential and progress. As the fourth most funded market in the MENA region, with $246 million of capital inflows over the past five years, Jordan stands on the cusp of a new era of innovation-led growth. NashamaStart’s strategic objectives are rooted in the provision of support and guidance to tech startups and resonate with the evolving dynamics of the Jordanian startup ecosystem. By leveraging insights from the Magnitt report, NashamaStart ensures that its actions are not just convenient but also tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of Jordanian entrepreneurs.

One of MoDEE’s main pillars is Digital and Social Entrepreneurship, aimed at opening markets that are conducive to entrepreneurship, investment, and innovation. Out of the startups selected for NashamaStart, 22 are positioned within the top 5 industries/sectors by total funding in Jordan, according to the Magnitt report. By focusing on these key industries, NashamaStart not only leverages existing strengths but also aligns closely with MoDEE’s mission of nurturing high-potential startups within sectors that have demonstrated significant development and investment interest. This alignment between NashamaStart’s initiatives and MoDEE’s objectives underscores a collaborative approach towards driving economic growth and social impact in Jordan’s tech startup ecosystem.

Central to NashamaStart’s vision is the recognition of sectoral diversity as an approach for innovation and resilience. The selection of startups spanning a multitude of sectors, such as Fintech, Healthtech, E-commerce, Media & Entertainment, Edtech, Agritech, and Proptech, underscores the project’s commitment to promoting a culture of creativity and experimentation. More than 50% of the startups selected by NashamaStart are positioned in sectors outside the top 5 industries. By embracing this broad spectrum of industries, NashamaStart creates an ecosystem where ideas intersect, collaborations flourish, and transformative solutions emerge. Moreover, this sectoral diversity positions Jordan as a fertile ground for investment and partnership, opening new markets, and attracting attention from global investors and stakeholders eager to tap into the nation’s thriving entrepreneurial potential.

According to the Magnitt report, over 90% of deals between startups and investors consistently occur in the early stages, highlighting Jordan’s powerful activity in nurturing promising startups. Remarkably, Jordan’s early-stage deal flow average surpasses that of its peer MENA countries, signifying high untapped potential within the nation’s entrepreneurial landscape. This strong emphasis on early-stage investments highlights Jordan’s commitment to encouraging innovation and supporting the growth of startups from their inception. The favorable ecosystem for early-stage funding not only encourages entrepreneurship but also facilitates the development of groundbreaking ideas into expandable businesses. Moreover, by nurturing startups in their early stages, Jordan provides them with a solid foundation to attract investments from both local and international investors, fueling their growth and enabling them to tap into bigger markets like KSA. As Jordan continues its support for startups and innovation, it is ready to capitalise on this untapped potential and emerge as a leading hub for entrepreneurial success in the MENA region.

Identified as key players by Magnitt, various ecosystem stakeholders play pivotal roles in driving initiatives like NashamaStart and similar projects, providing essential support, guidance, and resources to aspiring entrepreneurs. 

  • The Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship lead strategic initiatives, providing policy frameworks and creating an enabling environment for startup growth and innovation through projects such as YTJ funded by the World Bank.
  • Organizations such as JOIN Fincubator and JEDCO offer crucial technical and financial support, mentorship, through designed programs aimed at startups, promoting their development and scalability. 
  • Entities like the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship and AB Accelerator provide comprehensive incubation and acceleration programs, equipping startups with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in competitive markets, as well as networking opportunities. 
  • King Hussein Business Park serves as a dynamic hub, offering necessary infrastructure and encouraging registration among startups through collaboration with the Ministry of Investment. 
  • Investment entities like Oasis500 and Innovative Startups & SME Funds play a vital role in providing funding and investment opportunities, fueling the growth and expansion of promising ventures. 

Together, these ecosystem players form a powerful support network, driving the success of entrepreneurial ventures and contributing to the overall growth and development of Jordan’s startup ecosystem.

NashamaStart is more than just a project, it’s a testament to Jordan’s commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship, and inclusive growth. As the project unfolds, its impact will echo far beyond the borders of Jordan, inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs, attracting investment and positioning the country as a place of opportunity in the global technology landscape. With NashamaStart, part of the YTJ project leading the charge, Jordan is ready for a journey of transformation—one where creativity knows no bounds, collaboration knows no borders, and success knows no limits.