Entrepreneur: Mansour Mansour
Industry: Wireless Software Solutions/ Mobile Media Services
Selected: September 2008
Mansour Mansour is a visionary entrepreneur with a passion for mobile wireless technology. The first entrepreneur selected by Endeavor Jordan, Mansour is the Founder and CEO of Javna Wireless Software Solutions, the leading Arab firm in software solutions and wireless applications, and the first company in the region to develop proprietary software for the mobile market. Launched in 2001, Javna has been jointly built around Mansour’s steadfast belief in innovation and his ambition to develop a global company in his native country of Jordan. With an impressive list of partners – including major mobile operators in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE – as well as exclusive regional agreements with both Al-Jazeera News and CNBC Arabia, Javna is well positioned to continue its regional leadership in the fast-growing mobile media space.
Entrepreneur: Dr. Amjad Aryan
Company: Pharmacy 1
Industry: Retail Pharmacy
Selected: October 2009
Dr. Amjad Aryan has a vision to make his company, Pharmacy 1, the CVS of the Middle East. In 2001, Dr. Amjad spotted the opportunity to modernize and standardize the Jordanian pharmaceutical industry, which was then characterized by poor quality of services, low levels of technology and inconsistent management. Eight years later, Pharmacy 1 is the number one retail pharmacy chain in the country, with 45 branches employing 350 people. Dr. Amjad has also begun to expand regionally, with pilot branches in neighboring Saudi Arabia, where the pharmaceutical market is valued at over US$1.5 billion. With ambitious expansion plans and the potential for revenues to increase exponentially, Dr. Amjad is on the right track to make Pharmacy 1 the leading pharmacy chain in the Middle East.
Entrepreneur: Dr. Amin Amin
Company: ASK for Human Capacity Building
Industry: Business/Professional Services
Selected: October 2009
When Dr. Amin Amin realized that the biggest challenge in the Arab region is human capacity building, he decided to focus on bridging the missing link between education and employment. His company, ASK (Attitude, Skills and Knowledge) for Human Capacity Building, has elevated professional standards by providing innovative capacity building programs and consulting services with a special focus on education. With the support of a USAID-funded Education Reform Support Program (ERSP), the company is responsible for implementing the Jordan Schools Program (JSP) and operations are expanding throughout the MENA region.
Entrepreneurs: Mohamad Haj Hasan and Yousef Shamoun
Industry: Online Recruitment
Selected: March 2010
Since founding Akhtaboot in 2007, Mohamad Haj Hasan and Yousef Shamoun have quickly made a splash in the online recruiting market. With a user-friendly interface, superior functionality and searching capability, and a charismatic brand, Aktaboot can now match its 14,000 unique daily visitors (job seekers) with over 500 registered employers – including international players such as Google, FedEx, and LG Electronics. As the Middle East works to create over 200 million jobs by 2020, Akhtaboot has both real potential for growth and an opportunity to have a significant impact on the region. The combination of surging internet penetration rates and high unemployment in the Middle East has yielded a promising environment for Akhtaboot to become the industry leader, linking internet-savvy youth to newly created jobs in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and beyond.
Entrepreneur: Omar Koudsi
Industry: Web 2.0
Selected: June 2010
Nimble and savvy entrepreneur Omar Koudsi started the website, Jeeran, with a vision to make the web relevant to the Arab world by empowering people and giving them the tools to generate their own local content. Over the years Jeeran continued to evolve, and what started as a blogging service became one of the most established content portals in the region ‐ ranking among the top websites in the Arab world, generating over 25 million page views per month, and cultivating a community of more than 1.5 million members. Year 2010 marked the next phase in Jeeran’s evolution through the launch of the Jeeran “Places”, a new service that empowers Arab users to rate, review, discuss and discover places in their city. Jeeran Amman was launched first and other cities in the GCC followed. The new proposition showed a marked impact within a short period through a surge in traffic and community members, and adoption and engagement by those living in the cities.
Entrepreneurs: Ramzi Halaby and Zafer Younis
Company: Modern Media
Industry: Social Media Services
Selected: October 2010
Ramzi and Zafer are revolutionizing the way businesses in the MENA region talk to their customers. With their creative approach to social media advertising, these first movers are helping multinationals optimize their social network presence in the Middle East. Modern Media was founded when they started Jordan‘s first independent English-language radio broadcast Play 99.6 FM in 2004. In the last year their experience in brand promotion led to the development of a new business line called ―The Online Project (TOP), the only service in the region to offer comprehensive social media management in Arabic. Their combination of marketing strategy, process analysis, and content creation has improved their clients’ advertising and marketing ROI dramatically. Ramzi and Zafer have developed a valuable product in a rapidly growing field and they could go from being national role models to a regional or global success story.
Entrepreneurs: Firas Al-Otaibi, Mohammed Asfour and Wael Attili
Industry: Animation and Design Services
Selected: October 2010
There are more than 344 million Arabic speakers worldwide, yet less than 1% of all online content is in Arabic. Cartoons and videos are dubbed with Arabic voices, and websites are roughly translated. In 2010, Firas, Mohammed and Wael along with other partners founded Kharabeesh to fill this gap. Think Arabia is a one-stop-shop for Arabic animated content and multimedia design. They offer a wide array of Arabic media products and services from animated cartoon shorts, to mobile phone applications, to branding and multimedia design services. Kharabeesh has the potential to become a leading developer of original and creative Arabic content and possibly the Cartoon Network of the Middle East.
Entrepreneur: Fadi Al-Atrash
Company: Amman Pharmaceutical Industries (API)
Selected: May 2011
Born into a family of pharmacists, the pharmaceutical industry was a natural choice for our entrepreneur Fadi Al- Atrash. After gaining eight years of experience working in multinational pharmaceutical companies, Fadi joined API in 2006 as the Deputy General Manager and gained a seat on the board in 2007. Since its launch, API has become a leading regional manufacturer of niche branded generics, including eye drops, ointments, nasal sprays and topical preparations. Fadi has been a driver in this leadership story. He added new product lines and export markets, introduced license manufacturing into company strategy, implemented HR and finance policies and procedures, and rebranded the business. API has tapped into Jordan’s export market, which counts pharmaceuticals as its second largest contributor. Nearly 75% of API’s 2010 revenues came from exports to 25 countries. As API expands and transitions from a family business into a corporate company with institutionalized policies, procedures, and operations, API could become a global story for Jordan and the region.
Entrepreneurs: Jalil Allabadi
Selected: June 2012
Recognizing the importance of providing the world’s Arabic-speaking population with online medical information in their native language, Jalil has spent the past two years developing one of the largest and most interactive online medical health portals in Arabic. Altibbi’s website provides users with easy and free access to information from health professionals in a convenient, user-friendly, confidential and timely manner. The site hosts an Arabic-English medical dictionary, a medical directory listing approved medical entities in the MENA region and abroad, a “symptom checker”, hundreds of health-related videos and articles, and an innovative doctor-patient social networking platform that allows users to have their health questions answered online by approved doctors. Altibbi has a strong position to be the leading provider of healthcare information in the Arab world.
Entrepreneurs: Fadi Bargouti and Majdy Abo Mathkoor
Company: Curl Stone
Selected: June 2012
Fadi and Majdy were brought together by their shared passion for animation. Throughout their careers in the animation industry, the entrepreneurs noticed the dissatisfaction of TV channels, telecom companies, advertising agencies, and others with the standard of Arabic content and quality. This drove Fadi and Majdy to jointly establish Curl Stone in 2010. Curl Stone offers unique narrative-based animations that reflect Middle Eastern heritage through the development of positive role models who embody universally shared values. Curl Stone creates these characters and narratives as a product to be licensed to TV networks, telecom companies, web portals, and other media channels. The studio is aiming to become a regional player through a Middle Eastern cultural focus in some of their projects while simultaneously establishing an international body of work.
Entrepreneurs: Ala' AlSallal
Selected: August 2013
Launched in 2010, Jamalon’s dual-language ecommerce platform provides unparalleled access to a comprehensive catalogue of books in English and Arabic. Since its inception, Jamalon has grown to include over nine million titles, developed metadata for 150,000 Arabic books, and expanded regionally to reach customers in eight MENA countries.
Entrepreneurs: Omar Tabbaa
Company: EAT Restaurant Group
Industry: Food and Beverage
Selected: December 2013
After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in management information systems, Omar Tabbaa joined the French Culinary Institute in New York in 2003 and later earned a position in the rotational program at upscale New York restaurant Brasserie 8½, to pursue a career in the restaurant business back in his home country Jordan. Omar launched EAT in 2004 and has expanded to 11 restaurants until this day, including nine in Jordan. The entrepreneur currently manages his restaurants under five distinct brands; Casserecio and Italian cuisine, Lemon an international style bistro, Azkadenya a retro themed Arab restaurant, Umamy an Asian fusion restaurant and Cafésocial which is a lounge. Each location uses creative dishes and elaborate themed décor to provide customers with a casual dining experience unlike a typical Jordanian meal. EAT has the brand equity to attract local consumers and has even introduced a customer loyalty card program with benefits to encourage EAT diners to try each brand and added an online ordering platform for its delivery service. Omar has the drive to push the boundaries of the Jordanian restaurant market by introducing new themes and cuisines. He not only provides his guests with uncommon dining experiences, but understands his business’ role in the broader Jordanian community.