In the heart of Africa, the Republic of Chad is currently undergoing a transformative wave in its startup ecosystem. The 40th episode of the Startup Ecosystem Podcast features a discussion with Hamid Khayar, a visionary ecosystem developer actively contributing to the development of Chad’s startup ecosystem. As the Partnerships Manager of StartupBlink, Mahmod Shamsi welcomes Khayar, and in this article, we delve into the key insights from their conversation.
About our Guest: Hamid Khayar - A Visionary Ecosystem Developer
Hamid Khayar brings over five years of diverse experience in the IT sector and teaching to his role as a research assistant at the National Research for Development Center. His dedication lies in advocating for, designing, and implementing information and communications technology within the higher-education system. Alongside his academic achievements, Khayar serves as a volunteer assistant at the University of N’djamena and holds a master’s degree in Computer Applications from Bangalore University, India. Additionally, he is a Mandela Washington Fellow (2016) and a Nasser Transformational Leader Fellow (2019), as well as an advisory board member at Global Innovation Gathering.
Chad Innovation - Fostering a Resilient Generation of Chadian Leaders
As we hosted Hamid, it can’t go without mentioning Chad Innovation, an organization dedicated to revitalizing the learning community in Chad. Recognizing the pivotal role of entrepreneurship in sustainable growth, Chad Innovation conducts events to raise awareness, provide role models, and equip young learners with the skills needed for entrepreneurial careers.
With a proactive ethos, the organization actively encourages self-reliance and initiative among youth, steering them towards entrepreneurship rather than waiting for government support. Central to their mission is the development of community spaces for students and researchers, designed to actively cultivate entrepreneurial leadership skills and contribute to wealth creation. In essence, Chad Innovation is shaping a future generation of Chadian leaders with both academic proficiency and a strong entrepreneurial mindset.
Chad’s Startup Ecosystem
Chad’s startup ecosystem, a relatively new but promising player in the African startup ecosystem, is characterized by its diversity, adaptability, and innovative approaches to local challenges. Hamid Khayar’s journey from Chad to India and back highlights a global perspective infused with local insights, crucial for understanding the developments in the ecosystem.
Core Strengths and Opportunities in Chad
Chad’s startup community is full of energy and determination, with entrepreneurs tackling local challenges in creative ways, even with limited resources. There’s a strong sense of teamwork and collaboration among different groups. They’re working on a variety of ideas, from education to technology, showing a broad and inclusive approach. Chad’s startups are also connecting globally through networks like AfriLab and Impact Hub, bringing in new ideas and resources.
What’s really impressive is their commitment to making a positive impact on society, using technology to create positive changes. They’re partnering with government agencies, universities, and international organizations, which provides extra support and recognition. The startups in Chad aren’t just focused on local issues; they want to showcase their innovations globally. It’s a diverse and exciting ecosystem that’s not only addressing challenges but also making a mark on the global startup ecosystem.
Challenges and Resilience
In the face of obstacles such as restricted access to funding and the high cost of internet services, Chad’s startup ecosystem stands out for its remarkable resilience. Entrepreneurs within this ecosystem are not merely daunted by challenges; instead, they are embracing adaptability and crafting innovative solutions within the confines of limited resources. The ongoing digital transformation in Chad introduces a promising avenue for startups to harness technology across diverse sectors. This shift has the potential to pave the way for transformative and impactful solutions, showcasing the ingenuity and determination of Chad’s startup ecosystem.
Government and Institutional Support in Chad
The government’s role in fostering Chad’s startup ecosystem is still evolving, initiatives like Chad Innovation are also existing. This private sector-led endeavor goes beyond bridging the gaps, actively fostering collaboration, providing essential incubation services, and integrating emerging technologies. It is always a win for an ecosystem when its private sector stakeholders take an active role in developing the startup ecosystem.
The Diaspora Effect on Chad’s Startup Ecosystem
The Chadian diaspora emerges as an important force in the ecosystem’s growth, infusing it with international experience and extensive networks. Hamid was just an example of how a person trusting his ecosystem can become an important stakeholder of the ecosystem and stay connected with the rest of the diaspora to further initiate business activities. This global connection proves instrumental for startups aspiring to extend their reach beyond local markets and tap into international opportunities. The diaspora’s power serves as a testament to Chad’s potential on the global startup stage.
Curious to learn how brain gain is an important win for an ecosystem? 👉 Tune into Episode 22
Language and Education: Unlocking Global Integration
In Chad, where people speak different languages like French and Arabic, there’s a bit of both challenge and opportunity. The advantage lies in the fact that knowing both a Middle Eastern and a European language makes it easier to connect with those markets. However, as English becomes increasingly crucial in the global startup ecosystem, improving proficiency in it is like a must-do to stay connected internationally. Embracing English as a widely spoken language simplifies communication and networking with global investors, making it more feasible to expand into larger markets. Although adopting a new language is a years-long process, it can create more opportunities for startups in Chad.
Looking Forward: Crafting a Sustainable Ecosystem
To ensure the sustained growth of Chad’s startup ecosystem, a collective effort is imperative. This entails enhancing funding avenues, advocating for supportive policies, and fostering international collaboration. The creation of dedicated funds, investment incentives, and a culture of innovation through education and skill development are essential components of this forward-looking strategy.
Chad’s startup ecosystem, though in its early stages, exhibits promising potential. Guided by leaders like Hamid Khayar, bolstered by diaspora support, and aligning with global standards, Chad is steadily asserting itself as a notable player in Africa. Continued growth hinges on collaborative efforts, both locally and internationally, to surmount existing challenges and leverage the distinctive strengths that Chad brings to the ecosystem stakeholders.