As of the third quarter (Q3) of 2019, MENA startups have received $517 million in funding with a total of 354 deals. The funds may not seem much, but it's actually a 30 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018. The startup ecosystem in the region is growing ... and it's doing so pretty rapidly.

Investors in MENA-based startups have also been steadily increasing over the years. In 2019, the number of investors surpassed that of the entire year of 2018 (159). A record of 163 startup investors exist to date. 

Startups and entrepreneurs in the region have been challenging the traditional way of doing business. In the region, many are adopting different tactics to ensure flexibility and diversity. After all, employee satisfaction reigns in the ecosystem. 

There are many reasons why you should work at a startup, but here are six of those reasons to help you chew on things:

1. Belongingness

Source: Luvze

It's one thing to find the job that's right for you, but it's a whole other thing to find the perfect workplace for you. Every startup has its own culture, its own way of doing things, and all you have to do is find the one that best fits you.

The more a person feels they belong somewhere, the harder they are willing to work. So win-win!

2. Personal & Professional Growth

Startups give employees the opportunity to grow quickly in their environment. Not only are employees learning and taking in as much information, knowledge and experience as they possibly can, but in doing so, they are being given the chance to further their careers.

3. Startups Are Defining the Future of Work

Source: Forbes

A startup may start out small, but with the passion and hard work that its few employees put into it, the chances of the startup becoming something huge and majorly successful are absolutely high. Does ring a bell?

So joining a company in its early stages is incredible in its own way. The company will grow and you will grow with it as well. Best part? You'll have a hand in its incredible future and success story. 

4. Everyone's Voice is Heard


In large companies and organizations, it can be difficult to get an idea or image to go through to those in charge.

However, since everyone at a startup pretty much knows everyone, it's not that hard to get a word out and maybe even change the game. It makes the fear of voicing your thoughts and ideas vanish because you know all those around you will hear them. 

Brainstorming with others is one of the greatest ways to find the perfect solution for anything.

5. Work Flexibility

Source: ASA

Many startups understand that sometimes doing the same thing over and over can get tedious and that employees need a change of pace or routine. Which is why most of them afford the flexibility of working from home or working without a set schedule.

As long as deadlines are met, and the work is done correctly, it doesn't matter if you work from 9:00 - 5:00 or through the night. Nor does it matter if you work from behind a desk or from behind a coffee table. Just make sure to get it all done in time.

6. Startups Cover Most Fields


You do what? Oh, there's a startup for it!

The majority of people looking for a job can probably find what they're looking for in startup form. Whether it's in tech, transport, design, and whatever else you can think of, there's bound to be a startup for it.

With all the funding and investment startups are getting, they are beginning to pop up anywhere and everywhere. Don't worry, if the job you're looking for doesn't have a startup right now, it eventually will.

Attend "STEP Next" in the UAE

STEP Next is MENA's exclusive tech talent summit taking place on Dec. 8 at in5 Tech in Dubai. Don't miss out on:

  • 1-on-1 Career Mentorship Sessions with experts from INSEAD, AWS, iMile, Volkswagen & more
  • Curated career growth workshops and sessions tackling tech talent trends and challenges 
  • Inspirational stories, live debates, and panels from experts at Microsoft,, Bulkwhiz & more

Read more about the summit here and make sure to register ASAP. 

*Disclaimer: STEP Next is a brand owned by STEP Group, the parent company of StepFeed.