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Nafas and access to resilience

Facilitating access to resilience opportunities will be valued by people, and now is the right time to optimise on the promising synergy opportunities between start-up ecosystems in the region

One of the most invigorating, life and career experiences is learning about the world of enterprise development.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to serve as the head of the social investment team at bp, the global energy major, where we developed three Es programmes - Enterprise development, in addition to Energy efficiency and Education.

In enterprise development programmes the team focused on facilitating three types of access to the wider community: access to entrepreneurial ideas, access to finance, access to growth opportunities.

In 2023, we are witnessing regional synergy stories where start-ups are becoming more valuable through venturing into regional markets, with the help of a dedicated ecosystem.

Today, one of these inspiring stories is that of Nafas, founded by the serial entrepreneur Saif Al Issai, leads to believe that the world of enterprise development needs a fourth type which is the access to resilience opportunities,

Starting with the vision

While for the past five years, founders gravitated towards Artificial Intelligence and fintech apps, Nafas meditation app, founded in 2020 in the Sultanate of Oman with an investment from Oman Technology Fund-OTF, shares around 300 sound content that helps members deal with the globally rising levels of stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression.

Saif, Nafas founder’s vision was to contribute towards the mental resilience of millions of Arabic speaking members around the globe, and it became one of the most downloaded apps in our region.

All roads lead to Hub71

The success of Nafas would not have been possible without a forward-thinking tech ecosystem with links to the global markets. For Nafas, the perfect match to do this was Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem that hosts an extraordinary team and founders who focus on balancing both making an impact and financial returns.

Sweet M&A

While Mergers and Acquisitions sound like sophisticated financial markets jargon, for founders it’s a growth phase to celebrate, when reached safely. With the mental health market leaders Labayh app, based in Saudi Arabia - KSA, acquiring Nafas in the first quarter of 2023, Nafas proves the regional and global value of facilitating resilience opportunities for the public.

What are the most important future trends? This question occupies a great deal of space in our minds and our daily conversations.

Stories, such as, Saif and Nafas’s perseverance, from foundation to being acquired by a global player, shows us that facilitating access to resilience opportunities will always be valued by people, and that this is the right time to optimise on the promising synergy opportunities between start-up ecosystems in the region.

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