Zain, the leading digital service provider in Kuwait, announced its strategic sponsorship of the London Business School MENA Startup Competition, LBS’s inaugural venture competition in the region. Many entrepreneurs and startup owners from across MENA took part in the startups pitching event held at the LBS Campus in the Dubai International Financial Center.

Zain’s support to this unique competition – launched by one of the world’s top academic business institutions – came in continuation of the company’s efforts to enrich the regional tech startup ecosystem. Zain is committed to make an impactful contribution to support entrepreneurship and innovation, not only in Kuwait, but across the entire region.

As a strategic sponsor, Zain was part of the judges panel during the event held at the LBS Campus in the Dubai International Financial Center, represented by the company’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expert Haya Al Mana. Al Mana joined in hearing and evaluating the 12 finalists’ startup pitches. The first and second place winners were selected based on criteria set by London Business School.

The event featured 12 finalists with promising startups, spanning different industries like Fintech, AgriTech, e-Commerce, Healthtech, and other emerging sectors. The finalists represented nations from across MENA, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. The 12 front-runners qualified from over 70 submissions and underwent rigorous one-on-one mentoring sessions and workshops facilitated by individual and institutional mentors.

The first LBS MENA Competition was supported by the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital (IEPC) and is considered one of the most-reputed startup competitions to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with VCs and investors in the MENA region.

Zain has a long list of efforts and initiatives to support entrepreneurs and startup owners, most notably its Zain Great Idea tech startup accelerator program. The company recently launched ZGI’s seventh season, aiming to entrepreneurs towards the best experiences that bring them sustainable growth and leverage on its partners ecosystem to connect them with venture capital firms and business partners to help them put a steady first step in the business world.

Zain Great Idea is one of the most successful projects under the company’s 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.

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.

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