Zain, the leading digital service provider in Kuwait, announced the launch of Zain Great Idea 7, the all-new season of its renowned tech startup accelerator program in collaboration with Brilliant Lab. The program continues its mission to enrich the tech startup ecosystem in Kuwait and further push it forward towards expansion into the MENA region.
The announcement was made during the special ceremony held at Zain’s main headquarters in Shuwaikh, attended by Zain Kuwait CEO Eaman Al Roudhan, the company’s executive management, members of venture capital firms and startup funds, business partners, local entrepreneurs, and ZGI alumni.
Very pleased to welcome you all tonight at our head office to witness together the launch of the all-new season of our innovative program – ZGI 7.” Al Roudhan shared some highlights from the most recent edition of ZGI: “Last year, we turned an exceptional chapter in the history of ZGI, the program I personally take great pride in. The sixth edition was the first of its kind, as it came in an entirely virtual fashion during the pandemic. But with our entrepreneurs’ dedication, and in spite of many challenges, ZGI 6 alone yielded over USD 4.5 million of investments in the participating startups, helping them kick-off operations in the market.
ZGI 6 featured over 170 startups, 25 of which reached the final phase with full acceleration. In addition, we saw the highest number of female entrepreneurs in the history of the program, making 40% of the total number of participants.
Such continuous achievements reflect ZGI’s value in driving our vision to empower tech startups in Kuwait, a small market in its size but a great one in its ambitious youth. Today, as our program enters its second decade, we embark together on a new adventure with ZGI 7, which will continue its core mission of accelerating tech startups and empowering young entrepreneurs from Kuwait and the Arab world.” added Al Roudhan.
We are well aware that entrepreneurs have great ambition and very busy schedules filled with tight deadlines, and so this year, we will offer greater flexibility and more freedom for every participant to choose the sessions and programs that best suit their schedules and business needs. We will also expand the content and activities of the program to take our entrepreneurs to many destinations, including Riyadh, Cairo, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, to expose them to the best experiences and success stories from other entrepreneurs, investors, and similar programs from the region and world.
ZGI will always take entrepreneurs towards the best experiences that bring them sustainable growth, not only to help grow their businesses, but grow themselves as well. We also always strive to leverage on our partners ecosystem to connect our entrepreneurs with venture capital firms and business partners to help them put a steady first step in the business world. I look forward to an exciting experience for everyone with our seventh season, and wish you all the best of luck.Eaman Al Roudhan, CEO, Zain Kuwait
Last year, Zain celebrated 10 years of Zain Great Idea as one of the most successful projects under the umbrella of its Innovation and Entrepreneurship strategy. Investments in ZGI startups are well over KWD 6 million (USD 20m) to this date. 30% of ZGI alumni now own thriving and active businesses to this day across local and regional markets, and 40% of these businesses have raised capital.
Throughout a decade, ZGI has empowered, trained, and invested in over 1,500 passionate Kuwaiti and Arab young people, whom many of which attended the event to witness a new chapter of the ZGI story. Zain learned a lot from previous seasons and heard what ZGI alumni had to say about how to further refine the program year after year. And so, this year the company is offering greater flexibility and more freedom for every participant to take part in the sessions and programs that best suit their schedule and unique business needs.
For example, some relatively advanced entrepreneurs have already finished preparing the most essential parts of their businesses and have no need to take part in the bootcamp that covers the essentials and basics of building startups. So, this year, they have the chance to skip this session and save their time for other more advanced sessions that are more suitable to their needs and level.
This year, ZGI will also focus on regional expansion through unique programs held throughout MENA like Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Cairo. These programs are set to cover crucial topics like establishing and accelerating startups, communicating with investors and funds, building teams and brands, one-on-one consultancy sessions, enriching innovation, challenges facing entrepreneurs in today’s markets, local and regional success stories, and much more.
ZGI 7 is also set to offer a new win-win concept that serves both entrepreneurs and fresh graduates. Zain will host a special career fair-like event that links ZGI participants with students and graduates of various studies. The entrepreneurs will have an invaluable opportunity to introduce their businesses, attract local talents, and build their future teams, while graduates get a chance to be a part of the next big success story.
Zain strongly believes in the crucial role played by private sector organizations in supporting social and economic sustainability projects. The company is committed to printing a positive impact through all its activities, and this has led it to embrace the most influential topics in the community, perhaps most importantly the support of youth, entrepreneurship, and innovation, not only in Kuwait, but across the entire region.
ZGI offers a refreshed opportunity for local talents and the region’s entrepreneurial community. Throughout six successful editions, the program has empowered, trained, and invested in hundreds of creative and driven Kuwaiti and Arab youth, of which many now own thriving and active Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to this day in local and regional markets.
Zain is well aware of the crucial role played by private sector organizations in supporting social and economic sustainability projects. Springing from its growing commitment towards practicing its social responsibility, the company is committed to printing a positive impact through all its activities. This has led Zain to embrace the most influential issues in the community, including the support of youth, entrepreneurship, and innovation.