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Start-ups need ‘angel investor’ — Razzaz

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Aug 08,2019 - Last updated at Aug 08,2019

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz speaks during the launch of the 'Expatriate Investors' Network' on Thursday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Digital economy is an inseparable part of all sectors from education to health to real estate, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said on Thursday.

Razzaz delivered his remarks at the King Hussein Business Park during a ceremony to launch the "Expatriate Investors' Network", established in cooperation with Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Ministry, the Crown Prince Foundation, the Jordan Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund and Beyond Capital.

"Digital economy and entrepreneurship are at the core of the 21st century," the premier said, noting that Jordan has many capable people in the field, and the Expatriate Investors' Network will help provide start-ups employing digital economy in their work with the "angel investor" they need "because it is harder for start-ups to depend on loans right from the beginning".

The network aims at connecting Jordanian entrepreneurs with expatriate investors in the UAE to create strategic partnerships, and Razzaz said it embodies His Majesty King Abdullah's vision to see the energies of young people exerted in useful and beneficial fields.

He added that the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) was renamed into the Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Ministry to highlight the importance of digital economy to move forward in this century. 

The initiative is the beginning of a series of meetings with Jordanian expats residing in Arab and foreign countries to create a network that will work on adopting enterprises in Jordan and provide them with financial and logistic support. 

In his speech, Chairman of the Jordan Business Council in Dubai Ihsan Qatawneh said that the idea of the network came into light when Razzaz visited Dubai last October. 

Qatawneh added that he hopes the network will create jobs and improve the economy in the region. 

For his part, Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Muthanna Gharaibeh said: "Expatriate entrepreneurs have connections in different markets and capitals, but they are not here to donate to start-ups, but to invest financially as well as in experience and connections, and this is the aim of this new network."

Mohammad Al-Kilani, chairman of Mind Rockets Inc, told The Jordan Times during the event that their company aims at making the world accessible for people with disabilities, especially the deaf, using smart avatars that translate and interpret text to sign language, because four out of five deaf people worldwide cannot read or write very well. 

Therefore, they attended the event to pitch their idea, within the set duration of one minute, to the investors and create partnerships to expand their business, in addition to benefiting from one-on-one meetings to explore possibilities of cooperation.

Abdelrahman Habashneh, CEO and founder of Decapolis, said that they attended the event to pitch the idea of their company, which is a system that allows food producers to detect the food's suitability for consumption before it reaches the consumers through blockchain channels.

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