The Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF) – the largest investment fund of its kind in Jordan – has completed a direct investment of USD 150,000 in NEXT Renewable Energy Company; a Jordan-based provider of specialized solar thermal (ST) and photovoltaic (PV) solutions. NEXT extends solar-dependent designs, fuel-saving solutions, desalination systems and heavy fuel oil (HFO) tank heating for both commercial and industrial clients across the hotel, hospital, textile and food industries.   

The investment aligns with the Innovative Future Initiative, which the ISSF launched to support startups and SMEs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan. Organized in coordination with the World Bank, the initiative has allocated USD 7.5 million to empower these companies to overcome the challenges imposed by the global health crisis.

“Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been placing added focus on direct investments so as to enable startups and SMEs to not only endure, but also prosper. Through this investment, the ISSF is helping NEXT to recover and reach its full technical and operational potentials, consequently contributing to the revival of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and positively impacting the national economy as a whole,” commented ISSF CEO, Laith Al Qasem.

In turn, NEXT Chariman, Hani Rabie, stated, “The ISSF was very prompt and steadfast in responding to our pressing business needs. Following a standstill of over 14 months, we were awarded our first project since the onset of the pandemic. This investment came at an opportune time, enabling us to mobilize our resources and cover the expenses required for closing several pending projects throughout the region.”

The ISSF is registered as a Jordanian private shareholding company. The objective of the ISSF is to support and elevate Jordan’s entrepreneurial and innovation landscape by facilitating the establishment of new investment funds that serve the ecosystem; making direct investments in innovative, export-oriented and scalable local startups; as well as implementing initiatives that improve the capabilities of Jordanian entrepreneurs and startup teams through training, capacity building and targeted incubation and acceleration programs.