The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is accelerating its support for start-ups in Jordan. At its Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Jordan on Thursday the Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with seed investment and accelerator company Oasis500. The agreement foresees EBRD advisory support to Oasis500 and its beneficiary companies on how to develop and successfully grow their businesses.
The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Karim Kawar, Board Member at Oasis500; Andrea Fontana, EU Ambassador to Jordan; Janet Heckman, EBRD Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region and Heike Harmgart, EBRD Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region and Head of Jordan.
The EBRD invests and works with private equity funds to help promising start-up businesses release their full potential. The EBRD Accelerator Program supports these funds through accelerating the development of their pipeline and start-up companies with a mix of practical workshops, connections to expert consultants and various business planning activities over a period of four years.
The cooperation with Oasis500 is the first such project in Jordan. In the wider region, the EBRD is also starting a similar project with Flat6Labs and Egypt. The two projects are supported with €2 million in EU funding as part of a comprehensive EBRD-EU initiative, which includes a dedicated venture capital instrument, to support trade and competitiveness in Egypt and Jordan.
The Bank’s cooperation with Oasis500 and Flat6Labs will further strengthen its support for businesses especially in the information, communications and technology sector, which have high potential for creating new employment opportunities and contributing to economic growth in Jordan and Egypt. It also supports the creation of a business environment that is conducive to seed and venture capital investments.
The Accelerator Programme supports the EBRD’s Economic Inclusion Strategy by serving target inclusion groups of youth, refugees, and women, with a focus on inclusion impact including access to skills, entrepreneurship and access to finance.
The EBRD works in Jordan to support sustainable energy, direct and indirect financing of private enterprises and promoting infrastructure reform. The Bank has invested around €1 billion in the country, since it started operations there in 2012.