AMMAN — A year after the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council (GEC) visited Jordan to study its entrepreneurial ecosystem, Mara Foundation and UNDP are launching the Mara Mentor online platform in the Arab region to provide advice, training and networking for entrepreneurs.
Ashish Thakkar, chair of GEC and founder of Mara Foundation, which is a social enterprise supporting youth and women entrepreneurs, said that the study of the Kingdom’s ecosystem found that there was “a lot of energy, a lot of buzz and people want to do things”.
However, it also found out that the support system for entrepreneurs was lacking.
Based on the GEC’s findings, a two-day forum started on Wednesday in partnership with UNDP and the Mara Foundation. The forum matches 35 mentors from the region with 100 first-time entrepreneurs to advise them on ideas and solutions for their enterprises over the course of six months.
The support will be provided through Mara Mentor, an app that connects entrepreneurs to mentors and other mentees, where they can all “connect, share ideas, brainstorm, ask questions,and get training”, according to Thakkar, a serial entrepreneur who dropped out of school at 15 and started his own IT business.