SMEs face an uphill battle from the moment they feel that Eureka moment, and most of the time they end up on the losing end.
Studies show that around 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years of their inception and out of those who make it, another 50% will fail in another few years.
Several startups participated this year in the Global Start-up Bootcamp, part of the arab luxury world (alw) conference that took place in Dubai on May 8 and 9, at INSEAD Business School campus in Abu Dhabi.
The boot camp, sponsored by TAG Heuer and Chalhoub Group, was attended by over 600-plus industry game-changers who evaluated startups from Paris, London and New York, presenting their company in a ‘pitch session’.
In 2017, start-ups received $560 million in funding, up by 65% from 2016, in this region.
Here, we showcase 5 in our attempt to cast a light on what challenges SMEs face and the kind of spirit they need to overcome them and go to the next level.
So what remains the most important factor in business success? The answer: an ‘innovative’ idea.
One company that is putting this in motion is a Paris-based startup, Induo.
Solving the problem of sweat in clothing and taking it beyond just sportswear, Induo is manufacturing the first non-iron, stain-resistant and sweat-resistant cotton fabric in the world. Its fabric, made with a patented technology, is made of cotton and is characterized by two qualities: repellency and breathability.
co-founders of Induo, Pauline Guesne, and Sebastien Francois, saw the need of having workwear that was as efficient as sportswear to manage sweat.
“We thought if sportswear had evolved, why can’t day-to-day clothing evolve too. We tried existing solutions first. The fabric we found felt like plastic, looked wired and was a nightmare to maintain. With Sebastian’s idea to create a fabric that could manage sweat and stains, and my passion for fashion, the idea [for Induo] started,” says Guesne.
About the most challenging aspects of starting a business, Guesne says there are personal sacrifices. “No one understands how much you want this, how much you have to work for it, fight for it and invest all of your money in it,” she says. “You are constantly sacrificing time with family and friends, as well as personal comfort; and in doing so, you feel very alone.”