It takes great courage for someone to leave their job and to start their own business, it also takes enough strength for those who were forced to leave their jobs especially in a time of a pandemic with no sense of direction. Whether it’s a startup following the trends, or a home business following your passion, it’s a start and one that’s continuously evolving and booming in the MENA and GCC.
Digitalization was thriving, with many companies adopting new technologies and practices to meet consumers where they are present and solve new problems. These new businesses were built following digital trends starting from creating digital solutions for day to day tasks to enhancing existing digital applications to meet new requirements.
Just in Q2 of 2021, startups along with other companies in the MENA region secured $3.08 billion funding amount compared to 2020 with a total of 71 deals closed worth over $1.54 billion and it is expected to reach a peak by the end of the year. It is also evident that quarter after quarter, we witness more emerging companies, startups and secured funding rounds. So far, the 3 sectors showing the most growth with emerging startups and new fundings secured are digital payments with $140.7M, e-commerce with $2.1 billion and ed-tech with $18.7 million.
Just like people say, a time of crisis is a time of opportunity and the pandemic is here to prove it. When digital payments were introduced, people were skeptical and hesitant about the use of it and when digital infrastructures began being implemented in education, institutions were facing challenges with very slow progression. All it took was COVID-19 and just like that, they boomed!
In the banking and finance sector, we witnessed emerging digital payment methods from companies such as Cashew, Tabby, and Tamara among many others which supported initiatives such as Buy Now – Pay Later (BNPL), contactless payments and optimization of banking applications. People were forced to adapt and employ new methods overnight to keep up with the changing economy and new ways of living.
Besides digital payments, existing companies quickly began transforming their business plans to meet challenges, new companies were formed and investors were getting hungry for fresh ideas. For instance, Cloud Kitchens, introduced as a virtual kitchen, was first established in 2010, with little public knowledge. Yet, that did not stop it from thriving during the pandemic; with restaurants having high delivery capacities and lack of labor, cloud kitchens allowed existing restaurants to streamline their operations, remain efficient and sustain their businesses with a hybrid technology driven business model. This model appeared attractive to investors due to its low cost, small capacity and high growth potential, cloud kitchens were ideal investment with a projected global market reach of $1 trillion by 2030.
At the end of the day, your business’ success depends on sustainability and innovation. There is not one ideal business model to follow, the start is to understand the market trends and adapt to the consumers needs. What are you waiting for?
Marketing Fintech Advisor