Startup competition awards 25 startups with $15k in seed funding
SPARK and BINA Business Incubator have awarded $15k in seed funding to 25 Syrian-led startups in Turkey. The NAMA III startup competition, funded by Qatar Fund for Development, is now incubating these 25 startups for 4 months to help them grow sustainably.
After the success of the NAMA II startup competition organised in 2020, as part of the Economic Resilience through the COVID-19 programme funded by the Qatar Fund for Development, SPARK has partnered with BINA Business Incubator again to create jobs through a Business Startup Incubation opportunity for Syrian Refugees in Turkey.
In recent years, Syrian refugee entrepreneurs in Turkey have contributed significantly to job creation and economic growth in the country. According to a recent study by Jusosor, SPARK and the Qatar Fund for Development found that Turkey has more than 10,000 formally-registered Syrian enterprises, with a total capital value of approximately 562 million USD, which contributes around 2% to the country’s GDP.
The NAMA III competition, which was launched in 2021, has now awarded 25 startups with $25k in seed funding to help kickstart their companies.
The first phase of the competition saw the recruitment of 25 mentors, who would guide the entrepreneurs through coaching and mentorship. Then, 80 new startup phase entrepreneurs joined the training programme and received multiple courses including business plans and skills development training, team leadership, pitching skills, HR training and idea development training, as well as a certificate from the Institute of Leadership and Management.
“During the competition cycles, I had the pleasure to meet Syrian entrepreneurs who proved that they are capable and willing to change. They are all ambitious to be independent and productive,” said Rasheed Khankan, Founder of Developed Technologies and one of the startups supported by NAMA III competition.
Upon completing the courses, a jury committee selected 60 businesses to join the bootcamp. During the bootcamp, the participants received 120 hours of entrepreneurship training based on BINA’s curriculum for entrepreneurship. The teams showcased their projects to the judges, and 25 exciting new startups have now received $25k in seed funding to help kickstart their companies.
“The value of NIMA III is not limited to the financial grant, but to the unexpected benefit of coaching and mentoring. Coaches helped me to change misunderstood ideas and concepts related to entrepreneurship,” commented Rajaa Blkassem, Founder of Goodmoms and one of the winners.
The coaching continues
These 25 exciting entrepreneurs will now proceed to the next phase of the competition, where they’ll be incubated by BINA Business Incubator and to accelerate their startups until July 2022.
“This programme is unique,” said Rim Vefai, Founder of Baklavati. “After completing the first phase, we received a great opportunity to be incubated and accelerated in BINA Incubator. This will give us the opportunity to continue what we started and we aim to grow.”
Tailored mentorship and over 200 hours of coaching is being provided to the 30 startups to prepare them for a final pitch where three startups will be awarded with financial prizes. The first-place winner will receive $2,000 USD, the second $1,500 USD, and the third will receive $1,000 USD.
The competition, which is launched with the generous support of the Qatar Fund for Development, aims to contribute to the eighth global UN Sustainable Development Goal (Decent Work and Economic Growth) by boosting refugee-led startups in Turkey to create 200 new, sustainable jobs.
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