Jama will lead GEN Somalia’s work with employer organizations, regional and national policymakers and universities to enhance the national entrepreneurial ecosystem. He will share local best practices globally and bring new ideas back to Somalia.
“The entrepreneurship ecosystem in Somalia/Somaliland has experienced uncommon growth in recent years, driven in part by the rise of entrepreneur support organizations – from co-working spaces and accelerators to incubators, business development firms, financial institutions and startup hubs,” said Jama.
“Much of this has been driven by resilient entrepreneurs who had the courage to create programs, products and services that address local needs through strategic innovation and design. At the same time, there are substantial gaps we can fill to help the ecosystem reach its full potential.”
With Jama at the helm, GEN Somalia will support and strengthen the burgeoning ecosystem with a collaborative approach to startup community building. Jama enters the role with a background in social entrepreneurship and economic development. He is the founder of iLab, a startup incubator that supports and invests in innovative, impactful startups solving challenges in climate justice and agriculture. Jama has over eight years of experience in structuring, financing, and implementing innovative and large-scale impact programs for international charities, development agencies, foundations and the private sector. Jama is also an advocate for young people in Somalia’s economic development.
"Startups can flourish in all parts of the world, not just well-established tech hubs like Silicon Valley,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. "Jama is an experienced leader who will help reboot Somalia’s startup ecosystem in the wake of the global pandemic and help regenerate growth."
To learn more about GEN Somalia, visit www.genglobal.org/somalia.