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Silicon Valley in the Middle East?

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It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

The Christian Science Monitor has a fascinating story about the growing internet dynamism in the turbulent Middle East.  It’s something that middle market companies seeking international growth should be aware of.




From the article:
"E-commerce is growing faster here than anywhere else in the world."

While traditional businesses and even governments in the Middle East have struggled to keep their doors open amid the upheaval of the past three years, entrepreneurs are harnessing the digital power behind the Arab uprisings to revolutionize how business is done in the region — particularly on the Internet.
As a result, at one of the most turbulent times in modern Arab history, e-commerce is growing faster here than anywhere else in the world; sales in the Middle East and Africa increased by 70 percent in 2011 and continue to outpace every other regional market.

PCEO has a sister company in based in Dubai, and we can certainly confirm that all the hallmarks of a serious entrepreneurial boom are present in the region:  gobs of money seeking a home; excellent – and expanding – infrastructure in places like Gulf States, Israel, Jordan, etc.; a large pool of unemployed but educated youth; and the dynamism (desperation?) resulting from widespread political upheaval.

Young entrepreneurs from Egypt to the Gulf are diving into this opportunity and finding increasing support from a growing ecosystem that includes college entrepreneurial clubs, new academic initiatives, informal meet-ups, high-tech boot camps, an expanding network of angel investors, and a bevy of regional accelerators offering seed funding and office space.

For those seeking dynamic growth, it’s worth a look.


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