Saudi development Syahrel Azha Hashim/Getty Images

Triumphe und Kämpfe arabischer Startups

DUBAI – STEP ist die größte Startup-Konferenz für den Nahen Osten und Nordafrika (MENA). Ihre jüngste Ausrichtung in Dubai hat viel Wirbel verursacht. Fast schien es so, als wäre die Startup-Szene der Region den Kinderschuhen entwachsen. Und doch steht der Fortschritt der MENA-Unternehmer noch immer vor ernsthaften strukturellen Hindernissen.

Die Erfolge der Startups der Region dürfen nicht unterschätzt werden. Laut Wamda, einer regionalen Accelerator-Plattform, haben mehr als ein Dutzend Startups wie Bayt, Careem, MarkaVIP, Namshi, News Group, Propertyfinder und Wadi.com jetzt geschätzte Bewertungen von über 100 Millionen US-Dollar. Douq.com, ein Unternehmen mit 3000 Mitarbeitern, das 2005 gegründet wurde, will das erste „Einhorn” der Region werden und eine Bewertung von über 1 Milliarde US-Dollar erreichen.

Trotzdem ist das regionale Umfeld weit davon entfernt, unternehmerfreundlich zu sein. Abgesehen von Krieg, Terror und politischen Turbulenzen, die die arabische Welt plagen, und abgesehen von den ganz normalen Problemen, denen sich Unternehmer außerhalb des Silicon Valley stellen müssen, wie fehlendes Risikokapital, fehlendes Talent oder nicht vorhandene Infrastruktur, geht es um eine Vielzahl tief verwurzelter struktureller Probleme.

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