Farhan Kalaldeh, Executive Director of QRCE
ArabNet, the largest conference for the Arab web industry, is to bring together over 1,000 Arab web business leaders and start-ups, including a strong presence from Jordanian entrepreneurs.
Following the successful ArabNet workshop recently held in Amman. The 4-day conference takes place in Beirut on March 22-25 under the Patronage of H.E. General Michel Sleiman, President of Lebanon, and in collaboration with the Central Bank of Lebanon.
The conference, organized by International Business Alliance Group IBAG, with the participation of various Arab entrepreneurs and notable executives, aims at growing web content, services, and applications in the region by fostering the ecosystem of entrepreneurship.
“The region is currently witnessing an increasing demand on internet usage, as the modern front for economy,” said Farhan Kalaldeh, the Executive Director of the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship QRCE. “As partners in development, we’ll continue supporting ArabNet, to inspire youth in starting their own businesses, and utilizing latest technologies into them” he added.
Farhan praised the positive results ArabNet 2011 team achieved in their roadshow they’ve concluded recently “ArabNet 2011 Roadshow Bus” visiting Jordan as the main destination and six other Arab countries including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, and Egypt.
From the other side, ArabNet Founder Omar Christidis said: “Building up to the Summit, the ArabNet team has just completed the ArabNet RoadShow, a road trip in the “ArabNet Bus” across 7 countries, fuelled by
the mission of finding promising youth and encouraging them to launch their own businesses. We found an incredible groundswell of talent around the region and the strong participation of young Jordanians in the Amman workshop reflects the tremendous talent in the country.”
The Amman workshop was held on December 8th at the cutting-edge Princess Sumaya University for Technology, with an attendance of more than 150 people. Aspiring entrepreneurs and university students were coached by expert investors and web executives.
Bashar Dahabra, Founder and CEO of info2cell, emphasized the importance of perseverance and not listening to those who doubt you, while Ph.D. Usama Fayyad, Chairman of the board of directors of Oasis 500, who memorably told the attendees, "I wish that you fail and you fail frequently…you learn a lot more from failure than you do from success."
Fadi Ghandour, Aramex Founder and CEO, highlighted the importance of continuous corporate nurture to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Arab world and the empowerment to peoples skills, resources and extensive expertise at the service of youth across the region.
Overall, the RoadShow received great support from governmental organizations, NGOs and the private sector, eager to help realize the potential of Arab youth and to develop knowledge-based economies. Universities were also excited about the ArabNet RoadShow, and helping create opportunities for their students to get real-world experience and training.
With the RoadShow concluded, ArabNet is now preparing for the 4-day digital summit taking place in March 2011, which will allow entrepreneurs with bright ideas and promising startups the opportunity to connect with investors, executives, and media.
ArabNet is partnering with the MIT Business Plan Competition to empower entrepreneurs, and the top 30 finalists from the Competition will receive a full scholarship, including flight and accommodation, to attend the ArabNet conference.
Rashid Al Ballaa, CEO of National Net Ventures, the largest web company in Saudi Arabia, summed things up by saying: "ArabNet was the most important internet event in the Middle East in 2010, and we expect 2011 to be the same."
Wael Ghonim, Head of Marketing at Google MENA pointed out that, “The number of internet users in the region is increasing faster than the number of available services,” emphasizing that, “the absence of entrepreneur initiatives will hurt the regions’ online growth.”
It is worth mentioning that several private sector organizations and companies participate in supporting ArabNet conference, including Bank Audi, Aramex, Google, Lebanon Central Bank, MBC Group as a strategic media partner, and Qualcomm corp., which provided the necessary equipment for ArabNet bus to be online during its roadshow.