Zoho has teamed up with Startups Without Borders (SWB), a global platform connecting migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to opportunities and resources to build their businesses, to support six budding startups who won the EdTech Startups competition awards. The partnership was announced at the SWB summit that took place at the American University in Cairo (AUC)’s Venture Lab. Zoho’s collaboration with SWB is aimed at empowering up-and-coming migrant entrepreneurs from the Middle East, by providing free tech tools and learning resources to kickstart and grow their business.

Ali Shabdar, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa at Zoho commented, “We are honoured to partner with SWB to support the winners of this year’s EdTech Startups competition, and look forward to continue forging meaningful collaborations that benefit the Middle East business community. We recognise the importance of supporting entrepreneurs in the nascent stages of their business ventures, which is why we hope we can contribute in a small way to help jump-start their business.”

As part of this collaboration, Zoho has granted the winners access to its cloud-based products with a wallet credit worth of $1800 (approx. EGP 28,000). In addition, winners can avail one-on-one consultation on MVP building, as well as free onboarding and training on Zoho applications from PyramidBits, a key partner for Zoho in Egypt. Shabdar added, “Zoho has clubbed different business solutions in its flagship offering ‘Zoho One’—the unified operating system for business—to empower businesses digitally and facilitate their digital transformation with ease and scalability. Through this collaboration, we aim to enable access to enterprise technology solutions like Zoho One for startups that demonstrate the potential to improve the quality of life.”

Zoho has participated in the summit for the first time to showcase its 50+ applications, and joined in a panel discussion under this year’s theme ‘Reconnect the Dots’ to discuss the future of work and the different workplace models. During the event, Zoho held a workshop that highlighted strategies for scaling up business functions and the integration with Zoho’s suite of apps.

“We are excited to have Zoho as Tech Partners at the SWB Summit. This year, we’re inviting participants to ‘reconnect the dots,’ and re-think about the way we innovate, consume, and work,“ said Valentina Primo, CEO of Startups Without Borders. “As we approach a new era where remote and hybrid ways of working take shape, we couldn’t think of a better partner than Zoho to support entrepreneurs in MENA, Europe and beyond in building the future of work,” added Primo.

Hosted in partnership with SPARK, a Dutch organisation promoting higher education and entrepreneurship development in fragile states, the EdTech Startups competition took place in October 2021 and six winners from the Middle East were announced. The innovative startups that won included Iraq-based Syrian startup Future LabY, Turkey-based Syrian languages learning App “lisan.app”, Jordanian languages learning App “Hafithni”, Turkey-based Syrian startup “Efkar Design”, “Electrogami”, a Turkey-based educational and robotic startup as well as “Hi Deaf”, a Lebanon-based Syrian startup that created a sign language teaching app.

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