The ¨Green start –ups meet investors¨ in Jordan and Cairo proved to be a great success
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The 2 first National “Green start–ups meet investors” took place in Amman (Jordan) and Cairo (Egypt) in early August with the aim of gathering entrepreneurs and financial actors to show the business ideas solutions to potential investors in order to promote the access to finance for green entrepreneurs.
After a two days training workshops in which the entrepreneurs enhanced their communication skills, a total of 15 companies (8 in Jordan, and 7 in Egypt) presented their business ideas in a demo day event in front of potential investors and relevant stakeholders. For example, to name a few were the National Microfinance Bank in Jordan, Oasis500, Alexandria Business Association, Arab Science and Technology Foundation, Injaz and UN representatives.
¨For the entrepreneurs, this is an excellent opportunity; some of them are unexperienced when it comes about pitching in front of potential investors, thus allowing them to improve their performance. In addition, the investors who attended the events shared with them valuable knowledge and tips and provide them feedback in how to improve the business and the presentation¨, explained Claudia Pani, our SwitchMed project manager.
According to the investors, the SwitchMed Programme is supporting innovative companies to bring competitive solution to a great challenge. This is why explaining in a straightforward way the problem that they are addressing and the solution that they have identified is crucial when developing a pitch. The investors concluded that this has to be clearly highlighted in any entrepreneurs business’ presentation.
During these events, the entrepreneurs also learned that is of paramount importance to target properly their market or niche. Their business can only win by marketing smart so creating a customer acquisition strategy is a very important early-stage question. While pitching, a precise and simple service/product description is needed to capture the attention of the audience. During the event, the entrepreneurs also had the opportunity to network with the potential investors aiming at closing deals in the future.
Finally, out of the 15 companies that pitched, investors, SwitchMed local partners and team selected one company per country, who will be winning a trip to the SwitchMed Connect 2018 in Barcelona. The winner in Jordan was Amina Abu Hamdeh, our incubated green entrepreneur, who is launching an enterprise called Golden Grass, the first locally produced wheat grass extract to make health & personal care products. In Egypt, Diaa Adham and Abdelnasser Farrag, who both were trained by SwitchMed, are the founders of VWaste, who came with an innovative way of transforming orange waste into raw orange peel powder.