Hivos proudly announces the launch of the crowd funding platform Zoomaal today in Beirut, Lebanon. It is the perfect place for event organisers, creative people, scientists, engineers, web and mobile developers, product designers, photographers, video producers and community activists from the Arab world to fund their projects.
Zoomaal is the first online platform for the Arab world that facilitates easy and well-organised crowd funding for projects. It is a pan-Arab initiative supported by four major venture capitalists in the MENA region: Middle East Venture Partners, Wamda, N2V and Sawari Ventures.
Abdallah Absi, CEO of Zoomaal and president of the Entrepreneurship Club non-governmental organisation in Lebanon, is a young social entrepreneur who aims at creating a new generation of Arab entrepreneurs. Prior to Zoomaal, Absi had worked on several start-ups that were refused funding because he was a student. The main motive behind Zoomaal was therefore to support seed ideas that cannot find support elsewhere from venture capital funds.
Hivos supports Zoomaal because it is an independent funding mechanism for innovative art and cultural projects. The Zoomaal platform matches crowd funding with independent projects which normally have trouble finding the funds they need to start up. Hivos will soon launch a Creativity Competition on Zoomaal to reward and help launch innovative projects that Hivos believes will have the greatest social impact in the Middle East.
Zoomaal is one of several projects supported by Hivos’ Cultural Productions in West Asia programme, which aims to open up space in society for critical reflection and dialogue, contribute to people's self-esteem and notions of identity, promote exchange and dialogue between different cultural communities, and strengthen the capacity of an independent arts and culture sector in the MENA region.