Investing in Employment in the Middle East and North Africa Region

SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy

The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, an initiative of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility, encompasses a range of programs to support startups throughout SANAD’s target region. By working together with local organisations that drive incubation and acceleration projects, the Entrepreneurship Academy provides entrepreneurs and their new businesses with guidance, resources, mentoring, networking opportunities, the chance to receive financial backing, and other means necessary to turn good ideas into successful enterprises. In this way, the Entrepreneurship Academy and its partners help create an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive – ultimately supporting SANAD’s mission of promoting economic development and employment in the Middle East and North Africa.

Business bootcamp and incubation for Palestinian entrepreneurs

20 student entrepreneurs in the Palestinian Territories participated in an intensive three-day “business bootcamp” to help them accelerate their startup ideas. The program, launched by the SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy and local entrepreneurship development organization SPARK, culminated in a pitching event for the students to present their business models to a panel of judges from industry and finance. The five winners, all women, will now benefit from six months of intensive business training with experts in the field. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy financed the bootcamp, which represents the “Economic Empowerment” component of SPARK’s Dynamic Futures scholarship program. The project aims to foster linkages between the youth and financial sector and raise awareness of the importance and challenges of entrepreneurship for economic development.

Mentoring program empowers Syrian refugee entrepreneurs

The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy and Mowgli Mentoring completed a pioneering six-month mentoring program for Syrian refugee entrepreneurs in Jordan. The initiative aimed to provide support and opportunities for these entrepreneurs to earn a sustainable income by incubating and accelerating their startup ideas and micro-businesses, enabling them to contribute to the Jordanian economy and assimilate into Jordanian society. The program oversaw the training of thirteen Jordanian professionals as “360-degree mentors,” who were then matched one-to-one with thirteen Syrian refugee entrepreneurs. For more information about this visionary program, watch the video.

Fincluders: Financial technology meets financial inclusion

The Fincluder initiative aims to close gaps in financial services in low and middle-income countries. The programs provide financial and business acceleration support to promising tech startups who demonstrate a commitment to advancing financial inclusion. The initiative encompasses the Fincluder Fintech Startup Competition held in 2016 in Berlin (see video here), the Fincluders Bootcamp in Jordan in 2017 and the Fincluders Network Program running as of 2018. For more information, see
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