Sitting in the Bir Mourad Rais district of Algeria, Hydra sits on a plateau and is considered to be the wealthier part of the national capital. After being seriously bombed, the city today has numerous hotels, cafes and restaurants to keep any tourists happy and the locals smiling. Coworking appearing in the streets of Hydra is giving its inventive locals the place to hang out, to mingle with likeminded people and to get their stuff done.
Algeria is a latecomer when it comes to the creation of startups and many entrepreneurs hold differing opinions on the matter. Funding is seen as a big hurdle, as business angels are nowhere to be found plus banks and government programs don't cover risky investments that startups are seen to be. The Algerian bureaucracy has a lot of red tape, which is another issue that needs to be addressed and online payments are waiting for the country's financial system to allow them. Despite these challenges there are a number of startups on their way to success such as Quedkniss and Rocket Internet's Ebay competitor, Kaymu, with the latest ones being Autopub and Linkibus. With about 40 million inhabitants and only one incubator, Algeria has quite some way to go in relation to building up an ecosystem.
Many of the startups today are being founded by business aspirations rather than tech interest and are more inclined to successfully grow, especially when the founders have been overseas and have returned home to get creative with their broadened knowledge. With the solution lying in education, training entrepreneurs and getting the government on side, coworking venues opening up is the seed that can grow into a Saharan cypress adapting to its arid and barren habitat and flourishing.
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