AMMAN: Jordan’s bustling entrepreneurial scene has come alive in recent years with a new group of business leaders unafraid to put their necks on the line, assuming they’ve got a bit of startup capital from their mums and dads first.
“Entrepreneurs like me are a different breed because we really embrace risk,” says Fadi Hussein, 2012’s Young Jordanian Entrepreneur of the Year, handing a used coffee cup to one of three Sri Lankan maids in his parents’ kitchen.
“I mean, we don’t take the easy option. No way. We’re putting everything on the line… like, I had to duck out of a family skiing trip to Faraya last winter because I was invited to speak at some start-up conference thing in Cairo. It’s a crazy life.”
Fadi, 25, who followed up his seven years in an elite British boarding school with an MBA at a private university in Geneva, has shunned a job with his father’s construction firm to see how far he can take his own start-up – which he started on his kitchen table with nothing more than a laptop, iPad, iPhone, his father’s contacts, several thousand dinars of working capital from his uncle in Dallas and a vague idea that he wanted to do “something with DJs”.
And now, two years later, his company Something With DJs has managed to book DJ Tiesto to Jordan three separate times in just six weeks.
“I mean, it’s not about the profit is it?” insists Ramzi Johnson, founder of The Social Media Start-up, a company that helps start up social media start-ups. “It’s the journey, the innovation, the teamwork… the endless uncritical congratulation at Tweet-Ups. Money is just numbers. That’s how all entrepreneurs like us see it.”
And Johnson says he’s in this for the long haul. At just 23, he knows his journey has just begun.
“I mean, now that I have learned to totally ignore repeated failure, I could really see myself doing this for a long time.”