x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Success now comes with a start-up manual for Arab entrepreneurs

Dubai's Qordoba has translated the renowned Startup Owner's Manual into Arabic

DUBAI // Arab entrepreneurs will soon be offered an important new resource to help their new businesses flourish, thanks to the first Arabic translation of a renowned book on launching a company.

The Startup Owner’s Manual, by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf, has been translated by Qordoba, a translation service in Dubai. It is the first major book of its kind available to regional entrepreneurs in their own language.

“The book is really foundational in the literature on start-ups and it’s been a bestseller since it was published,” said May Habib, Qordoba’s founder. “It’s the very first content of this type in Arabic and it’s the first major English-language title to be translated in Arabic in digital format.”

She said she hoped the translation would encourage more Arab entrepreneurs.

“There have been so many economic issues in the region, which we know entrepreneurship can be a solution for,” she added.

“The UAE is a hub that attracts entrepreneurs, so I think this is a very natural place for something like this to be launched.”
Budding businessmen and women agreed.

“I think it’s a phenomenal initiative,” said Marwan Chaar, a co-founder of The Hub, a shared workspace in Dubai for social enterprises. “The more information we can propagate in Arabic, the better.”

Many believe the book will help regional entrepreneurs looking for support to find their feet.

“I think it’s a great initiative, having a step-by-step guide that helps start-ups navigate in their native language is a sorely needed resource,” said Mohamed Hamedi, a technology entrepreneur.

“There is a plethora of English-based resources. An Arabic-language resource, I feel, will enable many others to take the path to start their own venture.”

“The book is widely considered to be the definitive guide for start-ups and having access to this resource will certainly be valuable to Arab entrepreneurs,” said Najla Al Midfa, a senior manager at the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

“There is definitely a dearth of Arabic entrepreneurship-related content, especially online. As a result, I can see this digital translation being extremely well-received in the region, particularly given the growing interest in small and medium enterprises.”

Yousef Hamza, the director of Envestors Mena, an investors’ network in Dubai that has advised thousands of entrepreneurs, said Qordoba’s translation would provide much-needed help.

“We have two main issues here in the region,” he said. “One is the lack of available Arabic reading material, the other is resources to assist young entrepreneurs.

“This digital publication cleverly tackles both. There is an ocean of assistance needed for the entrepreneurial community to thrive.”

cmalek@thenational.ae