In Season 2, Episode 2 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host and Atlantic Council empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad speaks with Facebook Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa Ramez Shehadi on digitization, the future of e-commerce, supporting SMEs, and changes needed to improve the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
If we want to evolve the general wellness and well-being of communities in our part of the world, we must significantly invest in enabling, equipping, and supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises.”
1:23 Ramez talks about digitization of the Middle East economy, what it means and what he is seeing on the ground
3:40 MENA internet penetration higher than global average
5:22 Ramez shares some of the reasons why he feels that businesses are still struggling to join the digital world
7:55 100,000 UAE Golden Visas for coders: Who can apply and how
8:53 Ramez talks about what he does with his role at Facebook to get more of the SMEs online and be digital
9:30 New unicorns spike 491% to 136 in Q2, says report
11:10 Facebook launches #LoveLocal initiative in MENA
14:22 Ramez talks about how the pandemic has been kind of a wake up call for the SMEs to go big and digitalize
17:09 Huda Beauty
17:44 Will conversational commerce be the next big thing in online shopping?
18:04 Ramez talks about e-commerce and c-commerce and how they are evolving in the Middle East region and what plans Facebook has towards that
22:42 Dubai ‘ghost kitchen’ Kitopi is adjusting to life in a pandemic
27:06 Ramez talks about the transformation of Facebook in terms of the revenue structure and how it changes as the environment changes
29:15 Ramez talks about advertisements in the Middle East and if it has fully digitalized in terms of even putting the advertiser’s money online
32:18 Ramez also talks about scalability and how brands are being able to scale globally thanks to platforms like Facebook especially in the Middle East
36:16 Ramez talks about what people should be focusing on in the ecosystem for them to be successful especially in the Middle East
39:15 Ramez talks about entrepreneurship and why we need to widen its definition so as to even accommodate the small businesses and what can be done to help the SMEs
42:36 Ramez talks about how Facebook balances its business goals and the social issues especially in the Middle East region
Find the empowerME podcast on the app of your choice
The empowerME Conversations podcast features conversations with business and government leaders shaping the Middle East. The podcast sheds light on key opportunities and challenges for companies and governments, and Season 2 will focus on CEOs in the region.
empowerME at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East is shaping solutions to empower entrepreneurs, women, and youth and building coalitions of public and private partnerships to drive regional economic integration, prosperity, and job creation.
empowerME Conversations Sep 28, 2021
By Atlantic Council
In Season 2, Episode 1 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host and Atlantic Council empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad speaks with UPS President for Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, and Africa Jean-Francois Condamine about the e-commerce boom in the Middle East, promoting sustainability in the logistics industry, and empowering small and medium enterprises to become regional and global exporters.
empowerME Conversations Mar 2, 2021
Must see (Saudi) TV
By Atlantic Council
On episode 6 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host and Atlantic Council empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad speaks with Telfaz 11 and C3 Films CEO Alaa Fadan about his trailblazing efforts to produce TV and media content with Saudi talent, the recent Netflix deal, and the culture change that is boosting entrepreneurship and women’s economic empowerment in Saudi Arabia.
empowerME Conversations Feb 9, 2021
By Atlantic Council
In episode 5 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host Amjad Ahmad interviews Homzmart Co-Founder and CEO Mahmoud Ibrahim about his multiple entrepreneurial ventures, the growth in e-commerce in the Middle East, proactive changes governments are making to laws and regulations (and changes that are still needed), the importance of developing talent through mentoring, women’s economic inclusion in his businesses, and the need for the region to go beyond digitization and create change through innovation.