I first met LouLou Khazen Baz last year, we worked together on a project to position the company she and co-founder Rima had dreamed up, Nabbesh. LouLou was in the interesting position of having won the Dubai One TV show, 'The Entrepreneur' - in which startups competed to be the winners of a Du-backed prize of a cool million UAE Dirhams in cash and half as much again in 'kind'.
She won the show, which gave Nabbesh much-needed funds to see it through to its next stage of development. In interviews, LouLou was always noting - having herself worked for a VC - that the longer you can keep going without asking the market for money, the more value you could build in your business and consequently keep when the
sharks lovely investors come knocking.
Nabbesh is a skills marketplace - an online exchange where people can post their skills and talents and then others can hire them for those skills. So if you want a bunch of developers or copy writers, designers or a tennis coach, Nabbesh is the place to go. It means you can hire talent from the Levant or further afield - or from home - although there is some debate as to the legality of freelancing in the UAE, Nabbesh is also somewhere where people with trade licenses can offer their wares too.
Nabbesh has just signed up with PayPal - that's the business model: the business partnership between talent and hirer takes place over the site and it skims a slice off each transaction. The model works elsewhere in the world, Nabbesh wants to localise the service for the MENA area.
So now LouLou has taken something of a brave step - in that she's put her need out in public - and sought funds through crowd investment platform Eureeca.com - take a look here for the Nabbesh proposition. Note you have to sign in to Eureeca before you get all the info.
The really cool thing is she's already
25% 30% of the way there, one day into the campaign...