Wamda today announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind fellowship programme, Wamda X. The grant-based offering aims to attract promising entrepreneurs from across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to start a business.
Wamda X aims to safe-route the grueling and solitary path to entrepreneurship by offering the entrepreneur, or Fellow, a grant of $16,000 plus in-kind support including mentorship and a working space in the Dubai Design District.
The programme will run for four months and will begin in the middle of the first quarter of 2019.
“Wamda X is a continuation of the work we’ve done at Wamda to support founders and startups in Mena since 2010,” said Fares Ghandour, partner at Wamda and leader of Wamda X. “Founder-run businesses outperform other types of business and Wamda X looks to capture and empower entrepreneurs from the moment they start their journey.”
The programme aims to ease the barriers to starting a business by reducing dependency on family and friends, often the first people founders go to for financing. Wamda X aims to be the initial financiers in founders and offers access to Wamda Capital in later stages of financing.
“We invest in people and provide an environment that is designed to help entrepreneurs formulate and solidify their budding ideas into startups,” said Ghandour. “It’s a critical phase of the startup cycle that is currently lacking support.”
The programme was launched at Wamda's flagship Mix N' Mentor event in Dubai, which was held in partnership with Microsoft, which also launched an accelerator programme earlier this year targeted at artificial intelligence (AI) startups in the region, the Microsoft AI Ventures Lab.
For more information and to apply to Wamda X, please visit this link. Applications for the first cohort close on 20 January 2019.