In May of this year, British banking and financial services company Barclays partnered with Flat6Labs to open Egypt's first Fintech accelerator.
In March, Dubai retail operator Marka Holding announced that it had formed a partnership with a startup, in order to have a presence in ecommerce. In February, regional telecom operator Zain Group acquired strategic stakes in two startups.
Across the region, established companies are seeking to tap into the startup wave. The acceleration of this trend is exactly what the Corporate Toolkit, released today by Expo 2020 Dubai® and Wamda, is designed to do.
This Toolkit provides a strategic framework for executives who want to build effective partnerships with startups throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Building knowledge, sharing best practices
The Toolkit is the latest product created under the Expo 2020 Dubai and Wamda partnership that aims to unlock the potential of Collaborative Entrepreneurship (CE) in the Arab world.
A jointly released study published in March 2016 found that only 14 percent of the corporate startup collaborations in MENA were strategic, compared to 24 percent in Southeast Asia and 50 percent in the United States.
However, interest in more strategic collaborations is high. Of the corporations surveyed, 89 percent want to collaborate with startups and 94 percent of MENA-based startups see value in corporate-startup partnerships. However, little research available to executives on how to effectively work with SMEs.
The roadmap for your company
Aiming at creating mutually beneficial situations for corporations and startups, the Corporate Toolkit introduces 14 distinct initiatives that can be implemented by corporations.
The CE framework is a guide to help corporations select and prioritize the right combination of initiatives that serve their strategic objectives, guiding its readers smoothly through the design, implementation and evaluation phase of their collaborations.
This is what executives can expect from the Corporate Toolkit for Collaborative Entrepreneurship:
1. Objectives: The most prominent objectives that corporations have from CE in MENA are branding and visibility, corporate culture, co-development and financial returns. The Corporate Toolkit encourages corporations to clarify the relative importance of these objectives to ensure that CE will be aligned with the overall strategy.
2. Enablers: Of no less importance are the enablers required to successfully execute a program. Initiatives furthering a given strategic objective have been organized according to the size of the team, the budget, and the reach-out strategy required to ensure success.
3. Initiatives: The Corporate Toolkit combines objectives and enablers to identify suitable CE initiatives. Each initiative is explained in detail and comes with examples, options and alternatives, giving much room for a corporation's individual needs.
4. Roadmap: Executives are encouraged to build a CE roadmap over the next three years. They are encouraged to start with ‘easier’ initiatives before moving to more complex engagements that yield the highest benefits. This approach allows for internal capacity building and decreases the involved risk.
5. Impact: It is recommended to track the impact resulting from the initiatives - towards the company itself, the participating startups, and larger society. Relevant indicators are provided for key domains affected by each of the 14 initiatives.
You can download the full Corporate Toolkit here.