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Accelerator Programs in MEA Launch to Boost Fintech Strategies in Respected Countries

It is not easy for startups to enter a crowded market, especially in the fintech space. With various countries around the world establishing strategies to become more digital over the next few years, the challenges for startups and established names in the fintech sphere continue to grow. A solution to this problem is accelerator programs: programs which identify promising startups and provide them with the resources and help they need to break into the market.

Countries in the MEA region are establishing their own digital goals, but startups need aid to help the countries achieve these goals. In this article, we look at two accelerator programs which are helping new organisations in Kuwait, the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Sultanate of Oman.

First cohort to take part in Boubyan Accelerator Program selected

Boubyan Bank has announced the launch of the training phase for projects and companies that qualified to continue with the Boubyan Accelerator Program, which was launched in collaboration with DIFC FinTech Hive. The launch was announced during a ceremony attended by top management of Boubyan and in the presence of DIFC FinTech Hive’s executive VP, Ms. Raja Al Mazroui and a group of strategic partners and investors in the local and GCC markets.

Abdulla Al-Tuwaijri, CEO – private, consumer and digital banking at Boubyan Bank, commented on this occasion by stating: “We are pleased to be here today to announce the launch of the training program for the first cohort of participants who were selected to continue their journey with Boubyan Accelerator Program, which targets regional startups looking forward to working in Kuwait, and aims to help them launch and accelerate their ideas.”

“Ten projects and startups were selected out of 250 entrepreneurs who applied to join the program ever since the announcement of its first launch in Kuwait. The program aims at reinforcing Boubyan’s strategy and its remarkable steps started years ago towards leading the future of the financial sector in Kuwait, and reinforcing its status as a leader in innovation, digital services, initiatives, and entrepreneurship.”, Al-Tuwaijri added. “Qualified candidates will be joining an intensified and innovative program that will help them launch their ideas and accelerate their implementation. This reinforces Boubyan’s role in supporting startups, especially the ones that could turn very successful and add value to the society, which aligns with our corporate social responsibility.”

In this context, DIFC FinTech Hive’s executive VP, Ms. Raja Al Mazroui stated: “Being the first and largest fintech accelerator in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, and emanating from our vision to bring fintech initiatives together, develop them, and enhance innovation concepts as well as establishing partnerships, we are pleased to be the first supporter of accelerator initiatives and programs in the region. Moreover, we are pleased to collaborate with Boubyan Accelerator Program and to share our experience with them in line with our strategy, which aims to improve the future of FinTech and grow talents by offering ongoing support as per the best international standards.”

Speaking about the 10 selected youth initiatives, Al-Tuwaijri said: “Technology was a must for these projects, whose selection was marked by diversification as they included digital education, fintech, and e-commerce startups. Geographical location was a selection criteria as well as they included participations from Kuwait, UAE, and KSA.”

Projects that qualified for the next phase of Boubyan Accelerator Program under the fintech category included Enabill from Kuwait, Xpence and Edfundo from UAE, and Money Loop from KSA. Under digital education, Kashkool Educational was selected from Kuwait, and under e-commerce and other participating technology initiatives participating in the program, Tdalal, Bookr Co., Punch App, Mnasati, and Looksie from Kuwait were selected.

Al-Tuwaijri elaborated: “Through this program, the bank will develop and accelerate action plans for startups and improve the technology used in their services in addition to holding many workshops and events that give them the opportunity to connect with strategic partners and investors in the local and GCC markets to pitch their projects. The program will also support their marketing efforts and finance management, thereby enhancing entrepreneurship in the promising technology sector.”

Fintech startups welcome in Sulatane of Oman following MoU

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) on Tuesday, September 13th, 2022 at Omantel Headquarters to conduct an Accelerator Program in order to enable fintech startups in the Sultanate of Oman.

Signed by His Excellency Tahir bin Salim Al Amri, CBO’s executive president, and Talal bin Said Al Mamari, Omantel’s CEO, this MoU comes in light of CBO’s Oman Fintech Framework and Roadmap that aims at establishing a comprehensive and nurturing fintech ecosystem in Oman that supports and promotes fintech start-ups, small and medium enterprise (SMEs), banks and technology firms.

The partnership brings together the expertise and shared vision of the CBO and Omantel to support local fintech start-ups in Oman. Starting on November 14th, the six-month Accelerator program will support innovative fintech start-ups through the challenges of the highly competitive fintech industry utilising mentorship, training, networking and fundraising support.

H.E. Tahir bin Salim Al Amri said, “Fintech is vital to the future of the Sultanate of Oman’s financial sector, and we are committed to supporting fintech start-ups in the country. This program is one of the manifestations of that mission. We are delighted to be working with Omantel to provide strategic direction and regulatory advice to local fintech start-ups.”

Talal Al Mamari, CEO of Omantel, said “We are excited for this partnership with the CBO which leverages our shared vision and strengths to contribute to the growth of fintech start-ups in the country. We are committed to leading digital transformation in Oman and to create meaningful opportunities for local start-ups to develop and thrive, and we strongly believe that our collaboration with the CBO in this area will be a game changer for the country’s fintech sector.”

Author

  • Francis is a journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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