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Expanding your business in the Middle East

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Wherever you operate your business, when it comes time to expand your horizons, you need to choose the right type of investment.

In the Middle East, there are many opportunities for businesses that are forward looking and have plans for expansion. However, the region also has subtle differences in commerce when compared to some other parts of the world.

This means that choosing an investor that has experience in the region is essential. Fortunately, there are many ways you can go about making the right decision.

Funding

You can’t grow any type of business unless you have money to invest in growth. Often the period that requires growth can coincide with a time when funds are short due to the amount of activity already being taken on.

Before you can increase sales or your client base, you must be in a strong position to follow through. Financing expansion can take many forms of funding, such as investment by friends and family, taking equity investors onboard, using traditional methods like banks or lenders or even making the most of new crowd-funding platforms.

One positive thing is that it is usually easier to fund growth in an existing business than it is to find backing for a startup.

Shared values

Having a simple loan or backing from a “silent partner” can be good for some businesses, but others on the cusp of expansion can often benefit from a new input of knowledge and experience. This can be especially true when growing into markets such as the Middle East.

Taking on equity investors who share the values and aspirations of your company can bring benefits far beyond simple funding matters. This is particularly effective when you hook up with an investor who has done this a number of times across different markets.

Experience matters

Najib Mikati began in business over four decades ago, first operating in the construction sector before successfully moving into telecommunications in the 1980s. Mikati went on to become Prime Minister of Lebanon for the first time in 2005 and then again in 2011.

By this time his company, Investcom, had a presence in twelve countries over three continents and a turnover which exceeded $660 million. When the company was floated on the stock exchange, it was judged to be worth $3.3 billion.

Together with his brother Taha, Mikati also set up the M1 group in 2007, which is now made up of at least ten companies.

Mikati recently hit the headlines once again when his son Malick married in a lavish three-day ceremony reportedly costing nearly $25 million.

Moving forward

An injection of funds is definitely essential for any business moving forward, but working with experienced advisors and investors can be key in having ongoing success in any market.

When it comes to the Middle East this can be particularly true, so making sure that your funding partners have an excellent track record is a basic requirement for success.

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