“Your belief in what you do will determine whether or not you succeed,” ­ Ahmad Alhanandeh, CEO of Zain, Jordan’s biggest telecommunications company. I have recently been signed as their Innovation and Entrepreneurship Consultant, but these were my passions since I was 17 years old, when I started selling pre­paid mobile phone cards at school. It has been an incredible journey so far, but not always easy.

I launched every startup on a bootstrapped budget as; everything I started came from nothing. Just like other serial entrepreneurs, I have started and left (or closed) many startups, but I have led and been involved with some incredible projects and companies so far.

To name two that I am most proud of, StartUp Weekend Jordan and Lean StartUp Machine, are for me forms of social responsibility to my country, Jordan. I believe that startups can change the world, but the market is not always ready for them. When I started a platform for factories in Jordan called MENA PLANTS, modelled on a very successful website called alibabi.com, the factories I pitched to back in 2010 just didn’t understand e­commerce like they do today. But facing these challenges, plus an obscure legal system in Jordan, as well as simply being a young entrepreneur, actually taught me how to believe in myself and act like it.

Today I can honestly say I believe in the work of Parachute16 and another enterprise I co­founded called Sukarh, which sells and produces unique, authentic and homemade Arab sweets. I am proud to bring these into the enpact program and to be an enpact fellow. If you get selected for the 2016 fellowship, my advice would be to use this opportunity to support your community and country in any way you can.

by Ghassan Halawa