Five minutes with: Saudi Arabian tech entrepreneur Bayan Linjawi


Bayan Linjawi is a force to be reckoned with.

At just 25 years of age, Bayan Linjawi has already experienced incredible success. The founder of Blossom MENA, Bayan helps foster and accelerate start-ups within the technology sector in Saudi Arabia. So well respected is she and her company, Bayan was invited to give a Ted Talk in October of last year. Here, Buro 24/7 Middle East contributor Hatem Alakeel steals five minutes with the busy entrepreneur to chat business and boundary breaking…

Thank you for taking the time Bayan; tell us more about Blossom?

Blossom’s mission is to educate, empower and enable the technology entrepreneurship community in The Kingdom. This is, of course, applicable and beneficial to both men and women because we boost the creation of new jobs and the socio-economic development of the country. We aim for a diverse pool of applicants from a variety of different backgrounds and we encourage women to lean in to the technology sector. We also equip all of our start-ups and entrepreneurs with adequate resources, mentorship and networking opportunities to ensure they flourish.

How far have Saudi women come in your opinion?

In the recent years Saudi women have surpassed milestones. More women are graduates than men and the government is pushing for more women to hold managerial positions in both the public and private sectors. Technology has played a huge role in the transformation as thousands of women have opened businesses online and are making thousands of dollars from business accounts on Instagram and Snapchat. Additionally, the 2030 vision aims for an increase of Saudi women in the workforce across all sectors including technology, entrepreneurship, athletics, art and the media.

Tell us more about your Ted Talk?

I was extremely honoured and privileged to be approached for such a world class initiative and movement. Seeing as Ted’s mission is to share ideas worth spreading, I thought it was appropriate to give a talk about idea sharing in the Saudi community.

What advice would you give anyone looking to launch a start-up in the Middle East?

I would advise any entrepreneur in the Middle East to study the market and to find the right product fit for the targeted user. I also believe that being educated in the sector you want to start a business in is vital as it is just as important to talk the talk as well as walk the walk.

What does style mean to you?

Style is the way you would like to be presented in front of others: it requires a witty mindset coupled with boldness of personality.