At BLDR, we view our role as unlocking the potential of the learn to earn cycle across MENA. In many ways, the cycle is dysfunctional. At both a macro and micro level, we can all see how learning systems are outdated and have failed to evolve with the times.

We all know people that are unemployed, underemployed or who’s potential and talent are squandered by the system and its inefficiency. The legacy systems currently being set up all tend to assume a linear process of learning and earning as opposed to a continuous and virtuous cycle that helps people regularly evolve.

An estimated 300 million people will join MENA’s workforce over the next 20 years. What region they join will be primarily defined by our ambitions and efforts today. We need less reports and studies, and more people BLDing the future of learning and work. Our region’s labor force is going through a transformation, with workers gaining independence through flexible work, contracting, and freelancing. We believe that the infrastructure supporting this growing class will have to be purpose-built now.

Learn to earn cycle

The learn-to-earn cycle lies at the center of unlocking the region’s potential. In a world where the ultimate competition is for talent, our ability to nurture and match talent to the right opportunities iteratively and constantly is what will define the trajectory the region is on. We need to create and empower a generation of BLDRs. We believe that the cycle will be reinvented first in emerging economies where there is less legacy infrastructure, and a stronger need for innovation because of the lack of safety nets. We believe that MENA is in a prime position to do so.

Creating the future we want

We believe that a venture building approach is the right one for the task at hand. The merits of the venture building approach have been made before, but we also believe that venture building is particularly well-suited to emerging economies.

The best investors typically have an educated view of the potential future lying ahead. They scour their networks for changemakers already working towards that future and conspire with them to create it.

In emerging markets, because of low-talent density and a largely fragmented ecosystem, a traditional venture capitalist approach may not work as successfully for the early stages. A venture building approach allows for a more targeted and deliberate approach for idea validation and talent sourcing. With the right incentive structures, a venture builder acting as a professional co-founder, is able to create the right environment for would-be entrepreneurs.

We are excited to be on this journey, and above all else are excited to meet fellow BLDRs that are energized by the creative disruption ahead!