Startup Watch: Dubai the blockchain hub, Uber Business in the KSA, and the failing startups

The world of entrepreneurship news is a complex one, with people ever ready to give their two cents on how you should be running your business, pitching your business and what’s trending.

Here’s what we’ve read about how Dubai is building its systems to become a global blockchain hub, Uber Business in the KSA, why some many startups are failing, and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Uber the vanquisher in the KSA: Considered among the main business hubs in the region, the Kingdom is frequented by a high number of business travelers on a daily basis, and that’s what Uber Business, a new feature by Uber, comes to cater to. The new version of the ride-hailing app  provides businesses with a central dashboard that keeps track of Uber trips and fares. Through the Uber for Business account, employees can access and monitor trip activity, and use a central payment account or request reimbursement for Uber trips related to business.This is considered as an unusual happening as the Saudi authorities barred Uber and Careem from picking up passengers from Saudi Arabia’s airports. In November, Saudi authorities also stipulated that Uber and Careem should limit the jobs to Saudi nationals though non-Saudis who are already registered as drivers with the ride-hailing apps can continue to work for the firms.

Dubai, a blockchain hub? Dubai is solidifying its steps towards becoming a  global blockchain hub. “We want to make Dubai the first blockchain-powered government in the world by 2020,” said Aisha Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai, a government office tasked with facilitating innovation in the emirate. Following the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, launched last December, The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong signed an agreement on fintech cooperation between the two authorities, with the intention to pave the path for startups in the MENA and East Asian markets. This agreement is subsequent to the recent inauguration of the Fintech Hive in Dubai’s financial hub, created to connect technology innovators and startups with a network of regional and international financial leaders such as the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, HSBC, VISA, as well as governmental Islamic Financial development organizations.

School is not always the answer. As entrepreneurship is growing to become a proper lifestyle and career path, Generation Z (post-millennials) is apparently going to be the most entrepreneurial of all generations. With the the high costs of acquiring a senior education, and, on the other hand, the ease to found a business, numerous youngsters might be thinking of building a professional experience rather than just seeking a diploma on the wall. Through startups, freelance jobs, SMEs, and small ventures of their own, Generation Z would be able to finance their academic paths, while building businesses in parallel.

Entrepreneurs are more charismatic than ever. According to a review by researchers at Aston Business School in the UK. and Kansas State University in the US, charisma was considered one of the skills that successful entrepreneurs should have. Those in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America valued self-protectiveness in addition to integrity and inspiration to employees.

Wamda of the week: FabricAID is reinventing secondhand clothes retail: Secondhand clothing retail has been a major commerce since ages so walking a mile in someone else’s shoes isn’t a bad idea after all. This article tells the story of FabricAID, a Lebanese startup that buys used clothes, cures it, and resells it to underprivileged is involved in bale retail in a social entrepreneurial way.

Je suis entrepreneur! 6.6 million self-employed workers and entrepreneurs are about to enjoy lower taxes and less red tape in an initiative led by the French government to improve the status of entrepreneurship in France. Prime minister Edouard Philippe said: “More rights, better services, a simpler and more easily understandable administration: this is what the future offers for independent workers.” Such decision follows the young president’s vow to tackle mass unemployment in the country. Forget about his makeup bill. Hat off Macron.


The dark side of entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, the world of entrepreneurship does not always promise blue skies and rainbows, as risks and challenges are always there to make your ride bumpier. Juicero, a wi-fi connected juicing machine, fitness tracker Jawbone, Yik Yak, an anonymous messenger app, Lily, an autonomous drone, and Beepi, a digital used car marketplace, are all deemed to cease their operations. Though securing multi-million dollars of funding, success was never their ally.

It’s not me, it’s you. We all know that the majority of startups fail but there seems to be a common reason behind this. Newton M. Campos, a professor of entrepreneurship at IE Business School and FGV EAESP, a researcher in entrepreneurship and venture capitalist, believes that most startups fail as they throw themselves in an anarchic sea of ideas and concepts, without starting simply from their own entourage and pool.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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