Dear Jusoor Friends and Family,
We are very proud to announce the launch of Jusoor’s second Entrepreneurship Competition this month with the support of Boeing, Startup Next, Sosyal Kuluçka Merkezi, and MIT Enterprise Forum (Arab Startup Competition). Last year, the Entrepreneurship Program was very well received and featured a competition, online sessions, and a training bootcamp in Beirut. We graduated 3 winning startups and 10 bootcamp teams.
This year, the competition aims to shortlist 20 teams to join a bootcamp in Istanbul, followed by a Pitch Day where they will compete for the final five financial prizes.
The competition this year has two main tracks: the Startup Track, targeting for-profit startups with a 1st Prize of $15,000 and a 2nd Prize of $5,000, and the Social Track in the not-for-profit sector, also featuring a 1st Prize of $15,000 and 2nd Prize of $5,000. We are also awarding a People’s Choice financial prize of $3,000 for a team selected by members of the public. Applications are open until the 1st of February 2016 and the application forms can be found here in Arabic and in English. For more information about the competition click here.
We invite you to spread the word within the young aspiring entrepreneurs community of Syrians and to apply if you are eligible.
News from our 2015 Competition winners
News from our 2015 Competition winners
First Place winner, Afkar Plus was an idea that started to spin in the mind of its young founders and later turned to be an organization that embraces the ideas of young entrepreneurs. It takes the reins, but it gently and skillfully guides those entrepreneurs and works with them.
To learn more about the successes of Afkar Plus and its influence on young adults, we spoke with Fadi Amroush, one of the founders. Fadi said that winning Jusoor’s award had a big impact on them and let them transform their idea into practice. Amroush added that the impact of their organization on the people in various places in the Arab world is incredible. They didn’t expect to receive more than 30 ideas but ended with more than 70 being currently filtered for their incubation program. In August 2015, the organization launched the “Afkari” program, focusing on turning ideas into startups through mentorship and training. They also successfully crowdfunded for one of their incubated startups, an online freelancing platform called “Maktaby Online”, raising 117% of their target.
“The program has been an enriching experience for both the entrepreneurs and us as a team working with them. Our well-structured bootcamp program is tailored to their needs and aims to give them guidance through their entrepreneurship journeys. We see a lot of promise in these young Syrians. They are the future success stories of businessmen and women from Syria.”
– Dania Ismail, Director of Jusoor’s Entrepreneurship Program
“Our aim for next year is to promote our successes with as many as possible ideas,” Fadi said. He hopes that in the upcoming year they will be able to present to the community these fruitful projects and to share the prosperity of their accelerator.
The other winning teams Sfkat (second place) and Khatwa Network (third place) are also growing and prospering. Sfkat, an online peer-to-peer marketplace platform, is now operating in Damascus and Damascus Countryside with 1,800+ items for sale on its website. And Khatwa Network, the volunteer-based organization helping Syrian students in Egypt to succeed, has offices today in Alexandria and 6th of October cities, an extensive website, and 20,000+ followers on social media.
As we prepare for the year ahead, we would like to thank you for supporting our programs and wish you, and Syria, a good 2016!
The Jusoor Leadership Team
JP Chilazi, Boston
Iyad Duwaji, Los Angeles
Leen Al Zaibak, Toronto
Maya Malas, Dubai
Dania Ismail, Dubai
Aziza Osman, Dubai
Rania Succar, San Francisco
Fadi Salem, Oxford
Rami Zayat, Abu Dhabi
Director: Maya Alkateb-Chami, Philadelphia