Five Jordanian entrepreneurial companies, managed by women and affiliated with the startup accelerator and business incubator, Oasis500, scored a precedence with the achievement of international, regional and Arab awards that assess and evaluate information technology entrepreneurial projects.
These companies, which were established by pioneering Jordanian women in the area of information technology and digital content, were able to excel over dozens of other entrepreneurial companies that competed for these awards. They reflected the image of women’s excellence in entrepreneurship and their ability to compete and succeed, while official and non-official figures at the local level talk about women’s weak economic participation.
Oasis500, a leading early stage and seed investment company in Jordan and the MENA region, said that these five companies’ excellence at these international events demonstrates the effectiveness and excellence of the entrepreneurs’ training and qualification program that is carried out by Oasis500. It also complements Oasis500’s march towards excellence in its operations and existence at the local and Arab level since 2013.
The most prominent award achieved by the Oasis500 companies is the Mohammad Bin Rashed Award for Best Arab Entrepreneurial Company, which was awarded to Abjad.com, a company managed by Eman Hailooz and launched more than one year ago as a social network for writers, readers and bloggers, allowing them to share book lists, opinions and recommendations in a manner that promotes books, especially Arabic books.
The second award was received by Aqar-Estate.com, which is specialized in the online sale and marketing of real estate and properties and is managed by Hanan Khader. The company excelled and took the award over a large number of other Jordanian entrepreneurial companies that presented their concepts to specialists and investors during an event organized by the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) late last year.
As part of the Cartier Initiative for Women, Jordanian entrepreneur Sima Al-Najjar, the founder of the eKeif website, won the award for the Middle East and North Africa for 2013. The award recognized her project, which functions as a provider of Arabic language video content for educational and guidance recordings, particularly for women related issues.
Moreover, the Gallery Alsharq Company took third place in the MITEF competition in partnership with the Abdel Latif Jamil Social Initiatives. The project was selected as one of the best 100 emerging companies by Red Herring Asia, which is a competition that focuses on exceptional emerging companies from around the world. Gallery Alsharq is a Jordanian entrepreneurial company managed by Riham Mahafzah and is a website that sells exclusive photographs from the east and the Middle East, as well as digital content.
Additionally, the First Bazaar website, which was established by Jordanian entrepreneur Linda Hallaq, received the award for best 100 companies in Asia by Red herring. The website is designed to offer unique products by designers and artists working from home.
Oasis500’s Chairman, Dr. Usama Fayyad, underscored the importance of Oasis500 achievements during the three years since it became operational in the local market, particularly towards motivating young men and women and providing the appropriate work environment for them to create and innovate in the world of information technology and the internet. This has been proven by those companies, whose significance and achievements were recognized at the Arab and international levels.
Dr. Fayyad said: “We saw many women who went through the process of establishing a company in the field of information technology and communications, and now we are seeing many examples of the companies that were established by the women and in which we invested. Currently, around 22% of women entrepreneurs are receiving training and Oasis500 has invested in more than 31% of the companies.”
Oasis500’s CEO, Yousef Hamidaddin, said: “There is no difference between men and women in the area of entrepreneurship in this sector, because the concept of entrepreneurship is all about the mind, the persistence and the risk-taking, and these are matters that both men and women can deal with.”
He underscored the importance of the awards that were received by the Oasis500 pioneering women, indicating that they proved their ability to persistently and patiently establish their own very successful projects.