Today, Under the Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, AllWorld Network announced the launch of the Arabia Fast Growth 500 program in Jordan. The Arabia 500, created by AllWorld Network, is an annual effort to find and scale up all the growing entrepreneurs of the MENA region. The objective is to double the size of the region’s entrepreneurial economy in the next five years, generate thousands of jobs and launch innovative industries that are globally competitive. Based on the performance data of the Arabia 500 winning companies, the AllWorld Institute will generate a new base line of research on emerging growth and investment opportunities called Competitive Growth.
In a statement from Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Her Majesty said: “Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of a growing 21st century economy. By scaling up our most promising companies, we can create thousands of jobs and not only bring greater prosperity to our region, but greater stability, too. That’s why, as a nation so proud of its entrepreneurial community, Jordan is determined to continue investing in them and our shared future.”
Under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania, The Arabia 500 is an unprecedented collaboration between AllWorld Network, Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School and partners throughout the Middle East. Collectively, this group is reaching thousands of companies to encourage them to apply to the Arabia 500 to be ranked as a top performing entrepreneurial company and to become part of a global network of entrepreneurs.
Jordan will be the host of the first Arabia 500 Global Summit and subsequent Summits will move to other countries in the region every two years. The Top 50 winners will attend the AllWorld Summit at Harvard University in November 2011 with other winning companies from Asia, Africa, India Pakistan and the US.
Yahia Samawi, CEO of Brascus SA, the Chairman of the Arabia 500 Leadership Committee said: “I am honored that Jordan will host the first Arabia Global Summit the help AllWorld in promoting the Arabia 500 to become a key and permanent feature of advancing entrepreneurship in the MENA region,” adding that “The Arabia 500 gives entrepreneurs a chance to shine and compete in the new economy.”
The Arabia 500 is a ranking of non-listed companies based on their growth performance over the past three years, with the fastest growing company from the region earning the #1 spot. The MENA region will be the second region in the world with a fast growth 500 ranking of emerging stars, the other being the United States. AllWorld uses international standards to credential the entrepreneurs, and winners gain global attention as winners - drawing capital, talent and opportunities to support further growth. AllWorld calls this Visibility Economics TM.
The contenders for a spot on the Arabia 500 so far are growing at a rate of more than 40% a year, more than 10 times the rate of private sector growth in the Middle East and North Africa and have succeeded in spite of the global economic downturn. On average, these companies have $10 million USD in revenue and employ 100 people. They represent a range of industries from tourism to transportation, film to finance, education to ecommerce. The majority of the applicant companies are approximately five years old, and the majority of the entrepreneurs plan to establish another company in the next two years.
AllWorld Chairman and Harvard Business School Professor Porter said “The holy grail of economic development is building growth businesses. AllWorld and Her Majesty Queen Rania are blazing the trail of recognizing growing entrepreneurial companies in the developing world. This can start to be a force for transparency, change the mindset in countries and really move the needle of development.”
Deira Coyle and Ann Habiby of AllWorld stressed that the Arabia 500 participants represent the future of the region. They expressed that they are led by dynamic men and women who have achieved standards of global excellence. Adding that, they look forward to creating the Arabia 500 community to initiate a new wave of innovation and growth. AllWorld network invites every company in MENA to apply to the Arabia 500 at AllWorldLive.com.