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Building Jordan’s Entrepreneurship and Investment Ecosystem

July 1, 2013  • Maysam Ali, Chris Westling

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Partners for a New Beginning, a public-private partnership housed at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC, led an Angel Investment Delegation to Amman, Jordan from November 8 – 12, 2012. The delegation connected nineteen leading American and international angel investors and venture capitalists to tech start-ups and investment opportunities in Jordan. Additionally, Jordanian entrepreneurs had numerous opportunities to benefit from the delegates’ expertise and insights.

Jordan has developed into a regional technology hub, giving rise to hundreds of new tech startups that are changing the face of the Middle East. Given that Arabic Web content is only one percent of the total, there is enormous opportunity for growth. Jordan currently produces 75 percent of Arabic Web content and is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity. However, one challenge to the growth of the ICT sector is Jordan’s gap in early-stage investment. 

In partnership with the PNB-Jordan local chapter, the delegation focused on sharing best practices and expanding Jordan’s angel investment and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The delegation met with a host of promising entrepreneurs, thought leaders in the Jordan ICT sector, officials at the American embassy in Amman, and His Majesty King Abdullah II, all of whom expressed keen interest in the delegation and its potential to invigorate entrepreneurship in Jordan.

By all accounts, the program was a successful undertaking for all stakeholders, delegates, entrepreneurs, and the PNB-Jordan local chapter. In addition to generating support for Jordan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, the delegation yielded concrete results in the form of committed angel investments, mentorship pairings, and return visits to Jordan for additional investment meetings. Further, nearly every delegate has indicated his or her strong interest in joining PNB for a return angel investment delegation to Jordan in 2013.

Partners for a New Beginning at the Aspen Institute remains committed to fostering economic opportunity, investment, and job creation in Jordan through engaging its global network of investors, mentors, and business leaders.