By Megha Merani
Fadi Ghandour is executive chairman at Wamda Capital where he advocates for regional start-up concerns ranging from mentoring to funding
Fadi Ghandour, who has inspired and supported countless entrepreneurs across the Middle East and North Africa to start successful businesses of their own, has praised start-ups for “changing the way the region is conducting itself in the digital revolution”.
Ghandour, famously known for founding global logistics company Aramex, which became the first Arab-based company to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 1997, received the Arabian Business Achievement Award in Dubai last night.
“This (award) cannot be the work of an individual,” he told the audience as he accepted the award.
“This is always for the people that I have worked with over the years – for the entrepreneurs that are building the businesses… who are creating a new world, (who are) generating new jobs, and changing the way the region is conducting itself in the digital revolution that it is.”
Ghandour is now executive chairman at Wamda Capital where he advocates for regional start-up concerns ranging from mentoring to funding. He is also a founding partner of Maktoob, the Arab-English Internet portal that Yahoo! acquired for $85 million in 2009.
The Arab serial entrepreneur also credited the ecosystem of supporters that are empowering the region’s young population build a brighter tomorrow for themselves.
Many do so through Ruwwad Al-Tanmeya – the non-profit community development organisation founded by Ghandour that works with disenfranchised communities through education, youth volunteerism and grassroots organizing. Ruwwad serves as a platform for engagement between proactive citizens, the youth scholars and the community.
Ghandour said the hundreds scholars that come in to support Ruwwad “every single week” across Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine, are helping to change the lives of the community that they live in so that people can “own their futures rather than wait for somebody to actually help them do that”.
“It is for them that I'm receiving this award,” Ghandour said.