In a post-COVID environment, MSMEs and start-ups are looking for ways to keep their businesses afloat and improve their resilience through the next unforeseen crisis. A key challenge faced by these organisations is the lack of access to capital, financial resources, and investments.

For most start-ups and MSMEs, identifying the right high-value investor and seeking out business growth advice is almost always the main priority, unaware that a strong commitment to governance is a key component of the development process.

The panel discussion will shed light on:

  • The vital governance frameworks that attract investors to your business
  • Sources of funding for MSMEs and start-ups in the Gulf region and how to position your businesses to acquire it
  • What are some of the key market disruptors that are detrimental to new businesses in the region


  • Fahim Al Qasimi, Partner at AQ&P
  • Rabih Khoury, Managing Partner & Chief Exit Officer at MEVP


  • Ned Jaroudi, Startups and Venture Capital Lead for MENA at Amazon Web Services

What we learned:

  • Corporate governance refers to setting the rules of the game and establishing both the responsibilities and authorizations of three key parties: the Shareholders, the Board of Governors, and the CEO.
  • Governance frameworks are important because they add a valuable and diverse perspective that is independent of the shareholders of the company. With a robust governance framework that ensures transparency, a company is much more likely to attract investors.
  • In the initial stages of establishing a corporate governance framework, companies should leverage their Board of Advisors for specialist insight into key issues that need to be covered by the framework, and this exercise should be done in-house. Simple tasks such as record-keeping in the decision-making process during this time will be of paramount importance when attracting investors in the future.
  • If a company is publicly traded on a stock exchange such as Nasdaq, having a good governance framework in place will shield it from the inevitable flurry of lawsuits and scrutiny from attorneys through the principle of precedence for good practice. Further, when establishing a governance framework prior to being publicly traded, it is important to keep the target buyer in mind and reflect their best practices.
  • While there is no set rulebook to good corporate governance, ensuring diversity of all kinds on the Board can help a company avert its biggest risk, which is internal. A set of different perspectives on the Board are essential in solving critical business issues looking forward, and companies in the Middle East are likely going to be more transparent about this in the future. In order to achieve true diversity, companies should have a good mix of people on their Boards and also give them a voice.
  • The ESG framework a company follows should reflect its own values and priorities. According to the panelists, companies should focus on issues that are relevant to them and the part of the world they operate in. These will vary both geographically and company to company.
  • Digitalization is key to good business. Many stakeholders – including customers and potential investors – are often waiting for the kind of technology that will streamline business operations, so companies should invest in their digitalization efforts.

الأربعاء, أبريل ١٤, ٢٠٢١
1.00 PM إلى 2.00 PM
Arabian Standard Time

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