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Mudassir Sheikha and his colleague Magnus Olsson left McKinsey in 2012 to start Careem with the mission to simplify and improve the lives of people in the Middle East. Today, the company is the largest ride-hailing company in the Middle East and operates in more than 100 cities across 13 countries. The spectacular rise of the company resulted in the creation of more than one million jobs and many millionaire employees. The company was acquired by Uber in January 2020 for $3.1 billion, making it the most successful startup in Middle East history and the region’s only “unicorn.”
On November 17, 2020 empowerME at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East hosted a discussion moderated by CNBC Reporter & Anchor Hadley Gamble with Careem Co-Founder & CEO Mudassir Sheikha about his path to success and ways to boost entrepreneurship and innovation in the region. Longtime regional venture investor and empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad joined the conversation to reflect on how to build a more productive entrepreneurial ecosystem to create more unicorns.
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Co-Founder & CEO
Director, empowerME, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Anchor and Reporter
Welcome remarks by
President and CEO
Elections 2020 Oct 29, 2020
Middle East business leaders provide perspective on the economic impact of the upcoming US presidential election
In an empowerME survey conducted in the last thirty days, thirty-two Middle East business leaders shared their views on the possible economic impact of the 2020 US Presidential election. Atlantic Council experts Kirsten Fontenrose, Amjad Ahmad, Mohsin Khan, and Jean-Francois Seznec analyzed the data and provided the following key takeaways.
MENASource Oct 26, 2020
Qatar Development Bank CEO: The “blockade didn’t stop us from growing” and “prepared us for other shocks” like COVID-19
By Stefanie Hausheer Ali
On October 26, 2020, empowerME hosted Qatar Development Bank CEO Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa for a conversation about Qatar’s efforts to boost entrepreneurship, diversify its economy, increase women’s economic participation, and prepare youth for the jobs of the future.
MENASource Sep 21, 2020
The Middle East is a growing marketplace, not just a war zone
By Amjad Ahmad
The region is vast and complex, and outsiders who do not fully understand its nations or peoples overlook the nuances of the nearly twenty countries that make up the Middle East.