Since I joined the startup ecosystem in the in the UAE in Septemeber 2014, I’ve had the great privilege of meeting many talented and passionate entrepreneurs (aka ‘treps). I’ve listened to their ideas, stories and goals with immense excitement and their failures, heart breaks and rejection with sadness.
While challenges and failure are a natural part of the startup experience, it is undeniable that young ‘treps in the Arab world are facing formidable odds. Limited funding, lacking mentorship, bloated bureaucracies, unsupportive communities and much more. Yet, despite all the odds, young ‘treps continue to pursue their passion and leave their mark on the Arab world through entrepreneurship.
It’s time that Arab communities get behind their innovators, because they represent a powerful catalyst for change in our communities. They represent the best that our community has to offer. They represent passion, innovation, courage, sacrifice, ingenuity, solidarity, patriotism and more importantly the power of education to drive change.
Entrepreneurship is not an easy path to follow and yet our young ‘treps follow it, because they believe a future where they are the problem solvers, not the problem makers. Being an entrepreneur is often a thankless job that weighs heavily on both the entrepreneur and their supporters. But they continue to sacrifice their time, money, energy and free time, because they believe that making a meaningful contribution to their community is worth it.
It’s time that our communities built a culture that supports their passion and dedication. I hope the Soukie Speaks blog can play a role in creating a much needed network of support for our young Arab ‘treps. It’s not enough to congratulate our ‘treps when they succeed, we must support them to get there and we must support them even if they don’t!
Like what you see? Join the Soukie Speaks email list and follow my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook accounts, so we can enlighten, support and empower the Arab leaders and entrepreneurs of the future together.