Entrepreneurs across the Middle East
now have a new affordable means of getting advice: Ejaba.me, a Q&A platform that
offers expert answers to questions on topics such
as management, legal services, funding, and
intellectual property rights.
Designed by French entrepreneur Joanna Truffaut, the Strategic Investment Manager at Emirati telecommunications company du, the site charges by the question: if the requested answer is short, the fee is $20, and it increases to $30 if the answer is a bit longer.
The idea is to help entrepreneurs in the initial stages of launching their companies, when managing expenses can be tough. “You can always outsource these services from specialized offices, but sometimes this can go beyond your financial abilities," says Truffaut.
The site launched last month, and feedback has been positive, she says. By the end of this month, Ejaba will offer responses from three specialists in business management, funding, and legal consultancy and intellectual property rights; after gauging progress, the site will scale as needed.
Are Q&As a good solution?
The biggest competitors to Ejaba are likley not professional services, but other Q&A sites, such as Google's Ejabat, Quora, and even specialized forums in the Arab region. What these services offer is essentially a platform that enables everyone to ask and answer questions.
Thus far, Q&A services have been a success in the Arab world. The only problem with free Q&A services, such as Google Ejabat, is that there's no guarantee, whatsoever, of the quality of the answers provided. Questions asked on these platforms are typically answered by amateur users.
To set itself apart from similar free
services, Ejaba will needs to offer high quality, professional
consultancies, and provide answers quickly.
In the future, Truffaut hopes to build a sustainable customers base, and bring more experts onboard to cover more specialized fields. Ejaba is also looking into the possibility of offering monthly subscription packages, that might lower costs for heavy users.