Five and a half years ago Fadi Ghandour called on me to be part of his and Abraaj’s vision to build the entrepreneurship platform for the Middle East. At that time, very little was happening in the space, and Wamda would be the first MENA wide platform. So without hesitation I jumped on board. No one in their right mind would miss such an opportunity to create impact - especially when they get to do it with their role model.
Since its inception, Wamda has been the most comprehensive platform for entrepreneurship, bringing the key elements of the ecosystem together online and offline. The platform has grown to include the go-to media outlet for entrepreneurs, community programs that have mentored and trained hundreds of startups, a research lab that dives deep into what works and what doesn’t, and an advisory arm that guides governments and corporations in their quest to foster the entrepreneurial vibe.
None of this would have been possible without a fantastic team of dedicated, selfless, and passionate individuals who work tirelessly to bring the Wamda vision to life. Fadi’s leadership as chairman has been instrumental to guide and support us every step of the way.
Today, I announce with a heavy heart that I will be stepping down as CEO of Wamda at the end of the year. But I am excited to be taking on a new adventure in Boston that will push my knowledge in science and technology (more on that soon). My commitment to our region remains strong as ever, and I hope to be able to continue contributing.
Wamda will always remain very close to my heart. I have been very lucky to be part of this journey and to witness the ecosystem evolve. Most importantly I have been fortunate to meet and interact with the hundreds of entrepreneurs. They are the heroes of our region, with their uncanny ability to fight through and adapt to rapid changes. They are not only building companies and creating wealth; they are job creators, role models, and purpose providers.
The region’s ecosystem is still at its early stages. Its importance for the well being of the region will only increase in the future. That is why I’m very excited for what’s to come next, as Wamda continues to push its agenda forward. And I will forever remain grateful for that first call that Fadi made.