January 2021 Wrap Up

Updated: Feb 4

Here are five major headlines that took place this last month in the MENA entrepreneurial scene that you should know about.

1. Emirati Access Bridge Venture launches with a USD 25 million fund.

The venture capital fund based in Abu Dhabi launched and announced its first close with USD 25 million at the beginning of January 2021. Access Bridge Venture is aiming to support and work with start-ups in the MENA region in their early stages of development.


2. Dubai Startup Hub launches eight guides to support entrepreneurs and startups in the UAE.

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Dubai Startup Hub initiative launched eight sector guides to support startups and entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates do business. The guides provide useful resources such as relevant data, statistics and lists of incubators and accelerators to help entrepreneurs looking to launch or grow their start-ups in each of the eight sectors (Fintech, Healthcare, Transportation, Education, F&B, Social Impact, Sustainability, and Travel, Tourism & Hospitality).



3. Jada Fund of Funds signs agreement with Merak Capital to support early-stage tech start-ups in Saudi Arabia.

The Jada Fund of Funds, which was launched in 2019 by the Saudi “Public Investment Fund” signed an agreement with Merak Capital on 17 January 2021. Jada’s commitment to Merak Capital will enable them to empower and support start-ups and SMEs in the technology sector in KSA.



4. Egyptian Delivery Platform 1Trolley announced as EBRD’s Start-up Innovation Challenge winner.

On the 19th of January 2021, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced the winners of their start-up Innovation Challenge. Among them was Egyptian start-up 1Trolley, making it the only winner of the challenge from the MENA region. 1Trolley is an Egyptian delivery platform founded in 2017.



5. NIGSD and Cairo University sign a Memorandum of Understanding to develop entrepreneurship.

On 19 January 2021, the National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (NIGSD) and Cairo University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop Egypt’s entrepreneurship sector. The MoU will involve the collaboration of different institutions to support and encourage entrepreneurship by designing and implementing training programs in various areas including entrepreneurship, project management and sustainable development.


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