Connecting GCC companies with Palestinian talent

Qatar-based Silatech and Dubai-based start-up Nabbesh recently joined forces to connect university graduates in Palestine with flexible telecommuting opportunities in the region through a first-of-its kind campaign called Fursati.

“I am very much interested in supporting youth or women or any people that don’t have a lot of opportunities,” Loulou Khazen Baz, founder of Nabbesh, recently told the Gulf News Journal. “So it just made sense that Silatech and us partner to create 300 opportunities, exclusively eligible to Palestinian university graduates.”

Nabbesh is a skills marketplace that aims to create jobs in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that 52 percent of the country’s university graduates were unemployed in the second quarter of 2015. Almost 55 percent of the population uses the Internet, though.  This is where Khazen Baz sees a business opportunity with immense impact.

“I think virtual work is an opportunity for a lot of people to be able to work from home, or have a better work-life balance and control of the projects that they want to work on,” Khazen Baz said.

Yet, virtual work poses new challenges for managers and team leaders. The distance makes communication difficult, and as a result, managing expectations of both employees and their supervisors. However, Khazen Baz has seen people navigate these challenges and now 40 percent of the work completed on Nabbesh is cross-border.

Khazen Baz was adamant that Fursati is not a charity initiative, but rather a chance to explore a new workforce. Silatech is subsidizing Nabbesh’s 12 percent commission for clients to use the site. Khazen Baz said this makes an ideal solution for entrepreneurs bootstrapping a startup.

“I would hope that young companies and high growth companies like startups and small businesses are able to make use of this program,” she said. “Companies are only paying for the work done. They aren’t paying any commission, and we will help them select the right people and mediate in case there are any issues.”

Nabbesh’s system of quality control is changing the way businesses in the region view outsourcing. In an effort to create trust between the candidates and employers, the site reserves the right to remove users if they don’t complete jobs or deliver on promises. This takes the guesswork out of hiring freelancers and gives employers peace of mind, Khazen Baz said.

Khazen Baz started Nabbesh in 2012 when she realized how limited access to talent was in the Arab region. She gained recognition in 2012 when she won the first edition of the reality television show, The Entrepreneur.