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Startups Without Borders Podcast

Author: Startups Without Borders

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The SWB Podcast is a business interview show that uncovers the unspoken lessons of some of the world’s most audacious risk-takers: migrant entrepreneurs.

Each week, we will dig into the different aspects and mindset behind building a startup, as told by industry leaders, brave change makers and bold disruptors with one thing in common: they are refugees and migrants.

From the Middle East, to Europe and beyond, the show will focus on concrete, tangible strategies and tactics for entrepreneurs, from productivity tips, to business hacks, to industry insights, as told through the inspiring journey of entrepreneurs on the move.

The show is hosted by Valentina Primo, an Argentine journalist and the founder of Startups Without Borders, who spent 6 years in Egypt interviewing startup founders across the Middle East, and fell in love with the relentless, unstoppable spirit of its entrepreneurs. Valentina previously launched Startup Scene Middle East, Egypt’s largest English-language publication on the entrepreneurial landscape, and has covered stories for international outlets, including BBC Business.

Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.
Music: Funky Music ( Vlog Music ) by Dj Quads https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quads
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/7y1mi7ggtt0
14 Episodes
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If you’ve been on our site, you’ve probably seen this figure, but it’s worth repeating over and over again: the lack of diversity is costing the tech industry a missed opportunity worth almost $400 billion dollars. But what if we started looking at migration as an opportunity? What if we leveraged on this diversity to build more innovative startups, that can build different solutions to problems we’re not even seeing? Today, we’re bringing yet another panel discussion from the Startups Without Borders Summit, where Egyptian power lady Yara El Braidy sits with two Egyptian entrepreneurs experiencing diverse ecosystems in Jordan and the UK: Mohamed Salah and Amr Shereen. This panel is in English AND Arabic.JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/VISIT ARCAST’S PODCAST HUB: www.arcast.fm Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.Song by: Funky Music, by Dj Quads. Dj Quads:https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quadshttps://twitter.com/DjQuadshttps://www.instagram.com/djquadshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusF...Music from SoundcloudMusic provided by RFM: https://youtu.be/lNrAAAb2JvI
You know I love storytelling. So when I heard about a project called ‘Telling the Real Story,’ I was immediately drawn. The project, which was facilitated by UNHCR, landed to the Startups Without Borders Summit last November 8 and 9, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be speaking to one of its members, Amal Jibril. A Passionate about humanitarian issues and technology, Amal has been tirelessly working to provide refugees living in camps in Ethiopia, with opportunities for self-realization, using storytelling as a core tool. In this episode, we discuss how the creative economy can offer incredible opportunities for refugees, and what it means to try to showcase the ‘real story’ not only about, but told BY refugees. JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/VISIT ARCAST’S PODCAST HUB: www.arcast.fm Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.Song by: Funky Music, by Dj Quads. Dj Quads:https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quadshttps://twitter.com/DjQuadshttps://www.instagram.com/djquadshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusF...Music from SoundcloudMusic provided by RFM: https://youtu.be/lNrAAAb2JvI
Have you ever heard of impact investment? Well, I think everyone should. That’s why we teamed up with UNDP’s Innovation Lab to bring to topic to the forefront of the agenda at the Startups Without Borders Summit. We gathered some of the most impactful investors and entrepreneurs across the Middle East and North America, to discuss impact investment and the new frontier in the investment landscape: refugee-lens investing. Listen to this panel with Tim Docking, Managing Director of the Refugee Investment Fund, who sits alongside Hazami Barmada, founder of the Humanity Lab, Nisreen Haddad, a partner at the SDGs Growth fund in Jordan, and yours truly, Valentina Primo. JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/VISIT ARCAST’S PODCAST HUB: www.arcast.fm Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.Song by: Funky Music, by Dj Quads. Dj Quads:https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quadshttps://twitter.com/DjQuadshttps://www.instagram.com/djquadshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusF...Music from SoundcloudMusic provided by RFM: https://youtu.be/lNrAAAb2JvI
Our incredible partners at Facebook joined the Startups Without Borders Summit to support the migrant and refugee entrepreneurs building vibrant communities in the Middle East. Now, gear up to meet an incredible bosslady and Syrian entrepreneur Reem Sabouni, whose startup Arab Mom’s Club, has build a massive community for mothers in Egypt, starting off with a Facebook page. In this episode, we dive into Reem’s journey growing a community of 13.000 mothers, while discussing how to create value for users, how to leverage on the community to build a revenue stream, and how to take on the massive challenge of changing mindsets.JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/VISIT ARCAST’S PODCAST HUB: www.arcast.fm Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.Song by: Funky Music, by Dj Quads. Dj Quads:https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quadshttps://twitter.com/DjQuadshttps://www.instagram.com/djquadshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusF...Music from SoundcloudMusic provided by RFM: https://youtu.be/lNrAAAb2JvI
Today, we want to bring you another of the amazing panels that took place at the Startups Without Borders Summit. We decided to talk about an issue that seems obvious for many entrepreneurs who are familiar with the startup landscape, but poses a question for those who think of their companies as a lifelong endeavor. In this panel, the founder of Harmonica, the Egyptian match-making app which was acquired by match.com, Sameh Saleh, sits with Karim Khalifa, whose digital agency network Digital Republic was acquired in 2016, and two key figures in the Middle Eastern startup space, Rasha Tantawy, Head of Entrepreneurship at Egypt’s Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, and Mohamed Salah, Country Manager of Startup Grind in Jordan. READ THE SHOW NOTES: https://startupswb.com/podcast-is-the-exit-a-startups-biggest-goal.htmlJOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/VISIT ARCAST’S PODCAST HUB: www.arcast.fm Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.Song by: Funky Music, by Dj Quads. Dj Quads:https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quadshttps://twitter.com/DjQuadshttps://www.instagram.com/djquadshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusF...Music from SoundcloudMusic provided by RFM: https://youtu.be/lNrAAAb2JvI
Today, we speak to Chaker Khazaal, a Palestinian-Canadian author and entrepreneur who opened the Startups Without Borders Summit and left the entire audience shocked: he presented the world’s first interactive silent speech.

Born as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, Chaker immigrated to Canada, being one of four recipients of the Global Leader of Tomorrow Award. Having graduated from York University in Toronto, Chaker quickly became a public figure as an author, a journalist, and an entrepreneur.
His trilogy, Confessions of a War child, was inspired by true narratives of war children. His new book — Tale of Tala — is a descriptive narrative of the plight of refugees that became a Best Seller in 2018.In this episode, Chaker talks about going from refugee to best-selling author, finding courage to venture into war zones, and deciding to do the world first silent speech.JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/VISIT ARCAST’S PODCAST HUB: www.arcast.fm Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.Song by: Funky Music, by Dj Quads. Dj Quads:https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quadshttps://twitter.com/DjQuadshttps://www.instagram.com/djquadshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusF...Music from SoundcloudMusic provided by RFM: https://youtu.be/lNrAAAb2JvI
In the rollercoaster that is starting a company, how do you confront fear? Is there such a thing as fearlessness? Today, we’re bringing you the most anticipated panel held at the Startups Without Borders summit.Listen to two audacious Egyptian entrepreneurs and adventurers, Omar Samra and Omar Nour, as they sit with media mogul Amy Mowafi to talk about taking risks, overcoming fears, and dreaming dreams bigger than life.In this panel, Omar Nour and Omar Samra narrate their journey as they embarked on a mission to row across the Atlantic Ocean, dedicating their row to raising awareness of the global refugee crisis. In an ironic twist, Nour and Samra faced the same dangers, terrors and decisions refugees face. their quest has become the film “Beyond the Raging Sea,” directed by globally-renowned director Marco Orsini in collaboration with UNHCR, UNDP and DHL. 
READ THE SHOW NOTES: https://startupswb.com/podcast-how-rowing-across-the-atlantic-and-failing-mirrored-my-entrepreneurial-life.htmlJOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/VISIT ARCAST’S PODCAST HUB: www.arcast.fm Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.Song by: Funky Music, by Dj Quads. Dj Quads:https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quadshttps://twitter.com/DjQuadshttps://www.instagram.com/djquadshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusF...Music from SoundcloudMusic provided by RFM: https://youtu.be/lNrAAAb2JvI
What is refugee-lens investment? Did you know refugee entrepreneurs have one of the highest repayment rates for loans? How can storytelling have a real impact on migrant and refugee entrepreneurship? In this first episode of the Startups Without Borders Summit series, our partners at Arcast Abdullah, Mariam, and Hazem take a tour across the halls networking hubs of the summit to interview the thought-provoking entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders that inspired the audience for the two days of the summit. You will hear voices like Tim Docking, Managing Director of the Refugee Investment Network, as well as Amy Mowafi, a media powerhouse and one of the most influential figures in the Egyptian social media landscape, and Daniela Cicchella, a trailblazer pioneering storytelling for and by refugees. For this second season of the podcast, we partnered up with arcast.fm, an incredible podcast production house in Egypt, who not only interviewed the pioneers attending the summit, but also produced the entire season 2.READ THE SHOW NOTES: https://startupswb.com/podcast-6-thought-provoking-voices-from-the-startups-without-borders-summit.htmlJOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/VISIT ARCAST’S PODCAST HUB: www.arcast.fm Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.Song by: Funky Music, by Dj Quads. Dj Quads:https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quadshttps://twitter.com/DjQuadshttps://www.instagram.com/djquadshttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusF...Music from SoundcloudMusic provided by RFM: https://youtu.be/lNrAAAb2JvI
Growth hacking is crucial for startups, especially when seeking rapid growth in the early-stages. But how can entrepreneurs unlock the secret to exponential growth? Today, we speak to Nader Sabry, an Egyptian ‘space-preneur’ who used NASA technology to disrupt an industry that hadn’t had innovation in 1400 years: health and wellness Muslim lifestyle. A keynote speaker, strategist, and a leading voice in space technology, Nader has raised US $20 Million in venture capital directly, while indirectly reaching $100 million for startups he advised and cofounded. His passion for space technology has led him to launch get2space, an initiative to inspire 2 billion people in developing nations, and frequently advises entrepreneurs on how to ‘crack’ the growth code. In this episode, he dives in the tips and tricks for growth hacking, while discussing how to stay focused and get comfortable with discomfort. READ THE SHOW NOTES: https://startupswb.com/the-secret-to-growth-hacking-with-spacepreneur-nader-sabry.htmlJOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.
Saddam grew up in the Jerash refugee camp, in Jordan. It was from that unlikely setting that he embarked on an incredible journey that took him to India and back to Jordan, to start a social enterprise that empowers youth.In this episode, we dig into the principle of ‘Value first, profit second’, discussing how to create a startup that is profitable, and has an impact mission, as Saddam helps school drop-outs and unemployed youth become active members of society. How can social businesses sustain themselves? How can they create free resources for people while sustaining the company as a profitable business? Saddam answers these and many other questions in this inspiring conversation.JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.
This truly IS the number one question: you have a disruptive idea, but how do you fund your startup to kick-start? How do I choose an incubator? How do I approach an angel investor? Are banks an option?In this episode, we speak to Ana Álvarez Monge, an unstoppable force from Costa Rica that is changing the future prospects of migrants across Germany.A coach, university lecturer, consultant and mentor, Ana is thfounder of Migration Hub, a collaborative network for social entrepreneurs and a platform for migrant entrepreneurs, which was recognized as one of the 100 Landmarks of Germany.In this interview, we’ll dive into the nits and grits of how to access finance and fund your startup idea - especially when you are a newcomer in a new land. JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.
Big data is a 42-billion dollar industry today, and it’s projected to reach 103 billion by 2027. But the question on everyone’s mind is what is big data? Are there reasons to be worried about privacy? How hard is it to create a big data startup? Today, we sit down with Berat Kjamili, a Macedonian entrepreneur who founded Migport, a knowledge sharing platform that uses big data for good, giving refugees rapid answers to their daily questions with the help of volunteers, while utilising their data to better respond to their needs. In this episode, we tele transport ourselves to Turkey, where Berat is helping governments and NGOs better serve refugees, through a valiant army of 500 volunteers driven by a simple principle: the need to listen to their needs.Berat will walk us through the building of a social startup that has built a massive user base of 10,000 people, establishing direct dialogue with the people he serves. JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.
You’ve heard it over and over again: sometimes, the right partnerships can make the difference between making it or breaking it. But how can you identify the best partners, and secure them? How do you ensure it is a win-win partnership you can leverage on? In this episode, we speak to Aline Sara, the founder of Natakallam, a social startup that has provided over half a million dollars in cash to displaced people around the world, while raising awareness around the daily challenges of fleeing conflict zones, through academic partnerships with universities including Columbia and Yale.Aline comes from Lebanon, a country that hosts the world’s largest percentage of refugee per capita. So it’s no coincidence that this brilliant woman is the power force behind Natakallam, an enterprise that not only employs refugees to teach languages, but also valorises their skills, completely disrupting the way we think of humanitarianism. In this candid conversation, we dig into this global community of language partners, while getting insider tips on how to secure smart collaborations, build a double-sided platform, driving users, and creating a company culture that keeps everyone engaged.JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.
What does it take to go through the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship? How to embrace failure as part of the game? In the first episode of the Startups Without Borders podcast, we sit down with Syrian entrepreneur, author, and tech leader Ahmad Sufian Bayram to uncover the 5 keys that make up a winning mindset. Ahmad is the Regional Manager at Techstars, Program Director at Jusoor, and has been supporting hundreds of Syrian entrepreneurs through Startup Syria. His most recent book, “Entrepreneurship in Exile,” is the first study on Syrian refugee entrepreneurs built on data, unveiling a startup landscape as vibrant as overlooked. In this candid interview, Ahmad narrates his journey from Syria to becoming the Regional Manager of Techstars from his new home in Germany, while supporting refugee entrepreneurs across the Middle East and Europe. Amongst the lessons we discuss with Ahmed, we learn the 5 takeaways: - Stop talking, and start doing- Take risks- Learn something new everyday- Give First- Work hard, not smartAside from firing us up with his advice, Ahmad also looks into the rise of female refugee entrepreneurs, the importance of building a team, and why embracing failure is more important than seeking rapid success.JOIN THE STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS GLOBAL FB COMMUNITY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362573027500677/ JOIN OUR PODCAST FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/314557545818551/ FOLLOW STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS: https://instagram.com/startupswithoutborders/ READ THE INSPIRING STARTUP STORIES OF MIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS: https://startupswb.com/Photo Credit: Ahmed Najeeb.
Comments (2)

Omar Atta

This is so inspiring !

Jul 24th
Reply (1)
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