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Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship Jam Series “How to bring

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Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship Jam Series
“How to bring Social Entrepreneurship to the community
knowledge and Educational systems”
Ashoka Arab World | Cairo office | September 4th, 2012
Report Index
п‚· Who Attended?
 Jam’s goal
п‚· What happened during the Jam?
- Introduction
- Report on “Ecosystem for Social Entrepreneurship
in Egypt and its findings about education”
- Presentation on “How to bring Social Entrepreneurship
to the community knowledge and the Educational system”
- Discussion and pledges session
- Session’s outcomes
Who Attended?
Title/ Organization
Abd El Rahman Magdy
Founder, Egypreneur
Ahmed Sayed Ahmed
Collaborative Platform Coordinator, Ashoka Arab World
Ayman Shehata
Founder, Namaa Summer School for Sustainable Development
Brendon Johnson
Nahdet Al-Mahrousa
Dina Shawky
Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University
Dina Sherif
Associate Director, Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement
Emad Kareem
Senior Program Specialist, Etijah
Ewelina Szopinska
Development Officer, Ashoka Arab World
Farida Hammad
Ahead of the Curve Foundation
Hend Aboul Saud
Venture Assistant, Ashoka Arab World
Iman Bibars
Regional Director, Ashoka Arab World
Inji Al Abd
Co-Founder Socent Kairo for Social Enterprise
Kana Eyre
Innovation Fund, Ashoka Arab World
Lameece Gasser
Fellowship Assistant, Ashoka Arab World
Luzette Jaimes
Operations Manager, Ashoka Arab World
Mahmoud Galal
Founder, Dayra
Mai Al-Zeiny
Communications Officer, Nahdet Al Mahrousa
Mai Hossam
Development Assistant, Ashoka Arab World
Marion Schmidt
Co-Founder Socent Kairo for Social Enterprise
Mirhan Farag
Education Champion, Ashoka Arab World
Mohamed Al-Gohary
Nahdet Al Mahrousa
Monica Boutrous
Co-Founder, Mission -E (AUC)
Nada Ramadan
Founder, Teach for Egypt
Nancy El-Khateib
Director, Tahrir Academy
Nariman Moustafa
Operations Assistant, Ashoka Arab World
Rana Rizk
Venture Assistant, Ashoka Arab World
Rania Mamdouh
Chair, Mission -E (AUC)
Sama Singer
Development Assistant, Ashoka Arab World
Seif Abou Zaid
Founder, Nabadat Foundation/ Tahrir Academy
Shaimaa El Nazer
Media and Marketing Assistant, Ashoka Arab World
Shereen Allam
Founder and President, AWTAD
Violeta Rosales
Diaspora Assistant, Ashoka Arab World
Yassin Mohamed
Founder, Mesaha
Key Highlights
On Tuesday September 4th, 2012, Ashoka Arab World and Synergos along with the Alliance for Social
Entrepreneurship hosted the second session (JAM) of the Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship
Series on Social Entrepreneurship, titled “How to Bring Social Entrepreneurship to the
Community Knowledge and the Education System?”
Jam’s Goal
The co-hosts aimed at holding an open dialogue about bringing social entrepreneurship to the education
system and community knowledge. During this dialogue, the attendees developed a series of ideas,
thoughts and recommendations on how to foster social entrepreneurship skills among youth and how to
bring social entrepreneurship to the education system and community. The recommendations developed
will be the basis for future actions and will prepare for an in-depth conversation during the upcoming Arab
World Social Innovation Forum (AWSIF).
What happened during the Jam?
The 2nd Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship Jam, tackling Education, gathered experts from different
organizations and Entities, from Egyptian NGOs and initiatives working on fostering Innovation through
education, to university professors and individuals interested in paving the way for entrepreneurship to
enter Egyptian educational systems.
Dr. Iman Bibars, Ashoka Arab World Regional Director introduced the Alliance for Social
Entrepreneurship partnership (Ashoka – Synergos and Schawab), as well as introducing the session and the
targets out of it. She started by explaining the topic and the challenges NGOs face in Egypt that form
multiple obstacles to educate people about Social Entrepreneurship. Bibars explained the align of the topic
with AAW’s vision of a world where Everyone is a Changemaker™, and that this vision will not be
achieved unless education comes first!
Report on“Ecosystem for Social Entrepreneurship in Egypt and its findings about education”:
By Inji Al Abd, Co-Founder Socent Kairo for Social Enterprise
Inji Al Abd followed the Introduction by presenting her report on Ecosystem for Social
Entrepreneurship in Egypt and its findings about education. She emphasized what the report
was tackling, which was: what is Social Entrepreneurship, who is a social entrepreneur and who is not,
and how does the media in Egypt view them. The latter was a very significant and important factor,
according to Inji, in educating people about Social Entrepreneurship. She views the goal as to educate
media, and consequently citizens will be educated about social entrepreneurship.
Worthy to mention is that after the Egyptian revolution, formal education started to pay more
attention to social entrepreneurship, as we can find a course about it for instance being taught in AUC;
as well as more internship opportunities, competitions… etc.
Presentation on “How to bring Social Entrepreneurship to the community knowledge and the
Educational system”
By Dr. Iman Bibars, Regional Director of Ashoka Arab World
Bibars then went deeper into the context and the solutions for educating the people and the youth
about social entrepreneurship, by presenting “Breaking the walls: Empowering youth to unleash
their entrepreneurial spirit”. Through her presentation, Bibars targeted the following:
п‚· Showing a need to end the isolation of the Egyptian educational institutions from the community.
 Showing that students’ involvement in their communities is still limited, and up till now most
models have been about the students going out to community and not vice versa.
п‚· Sharing a model where both students and different players in the larger community have interacted
actively, and started to break the walls.
Causes to the problem varied, from Arab educational curricula that employ authoritarian methods
and disconnect from societal development and critical thinking skills, to restrictive home
environments that discourage creativity, innovation and risk-taking; reflection of which is the
unemployment rate for youth between 15 and 25 which reached 25%, compared to global levels of
14%, caused by lack of opportunities, little social mobility, little access to suitable training, and
structural patterns of inequality perpetuate this situation. Hopes were high after the revolution, but
no changes were witnessed in the above factors, rather, authoritarian systems at home and school
carried on!
With more focus on the educational systems, that Ashoka believes are the corner stones in changing
communities, Ashoka conducted a mapping of educational system in Egypt and the region, and found
the following:
� Having parallel educational curricula in Egypt (Public and private, governmental, British, American…
etc.) led to that only the children of elite families – 5 % of the population – are taught relevant
skills, enabling them to contribute to society. Result of which is a wide sense of frustration,
cynicism and marginalization; and very few opportunities for the Arab youth despite their huge
пѓ� Arab youth do not receive an education that adequately prepares them for the labor market. And
without generating and investing in young leaders, the region will not be able to overcome
systemic socio-economic challenges.
пѓ� Currently, the aggregate costs of youth exclusion can be as high as US$53 billion in the Arab
World, 17% of GDP.
Neglecting entrepreneurial skills and innovation that creates a social entrepreneur resulted in that 1 of
every 3 young Arabs is unemployed, 30% of Egyptian youth want to immigrate (AHDR, 2008), 25% of
firms in region claim lack of skills among applicants as major constraint on business growth (Dhillon
and Yousef), and 20% of Gulf youth feel alienated (Bibars and Bahr, 2006).
The Model: Ashoka Arab World Youth Venture (YV)
YV aims to start a movement for enabling and encouraging new generations of young social and
business entrepreneurs in the Arab World to start their own ventures. The model invests in young
people, high school students and young adults, providing them with the tools and resources, such as
mentorship, capacity-building and seed-funding, to drive social change and develop “Everyone a
Changemaker™” community. Ashoka's YV fosters a generation of young social entrepreneurs, leaders
and innovative Changemakers by investing in youth teams to launch their own social ventures, building
a regional culture of young people creating positive change.
Ashoka Arab World YV offers:
1. Financing & Learning Materials: Seed funding, tool and action kits
2. Access to Global YV Network: Link Arab YV participants with others around the world,
engendering a sense of global belonging and purpose, while creating an enabling environment for
collaboration and group entrepreneurship
3. Opportunities to Effective Change: Empower youth with the knowledge of their capacities to
generate positive social change
The model involves major key players in the community, each with a different role, including: NGOs,
Businesses, Media, parents and teachers; thus, building a comprehensive model to foster SE between
youth. Examples of which:
пѓ� NGOs and CSOs will support YV by spreading a series of youth-led community based
initiatives, provide workshops to inspire young people to start social ventures, collaborate with
local media to generate more exposure for YV, and serve as key links between business sector
and young people.
пѓ� Businesses will provide training sessions on project and financial management, strategic
planning, and sustainability to youth, mentor YV participants and teams on one-on-one basis,
offer Internship opportunities providing career-advancing experience to YV participants, and
directly invest funds to support YV in Arab countries
пѓ� Media will spread the culture of Youth Entrepreneurship, generate national publicity, and bring
attention to YV to support it. “Educating the media is a long process, it has to be continuous
and we have to think of new models, continuous competition is the only way to get our
message through” Bibars noted.
пѓ� Parents and teachers will support and actively participate in information sessions and
committees for youth initiatives, provide essential leadership at community level for youth, and
serve as key motivators for youth initiatives
Up till now, Ashoka has implemented Youth Venture in 10 countries globally, with hundreds of
thousands of youth participating and benefitting. It is time to bring it to the Arab world!
Discussion and Pledges session
Facilitate By: Shereen Allam, Founder and President of AWTAD
Shereen Allam, who came from an entrepreneurial background, viewed the key to deal with the
situation in hand to be considering how others see it and perceive it. That is why she followed Inji and
Dr. Iman’s presentation by a starting question: How to sell the idea of Social Entrepreneurship?
Dialogue between participants in the session involved a set of points and questions attempting to
answer the wider question “How can Education be more entrepreneurial and how can we bring
entrepreneurship through Education”, below is a summary of which:
пЃ¶ What is the definition of Social Entrepreneurship? Methods to reach a united definition
пЃ¶ Within informal education, how can we foster youth to be Changemakers and innovative, to
make their social start-ups and positively engage with the society?
пЃ¶ Social activism is the first step to educate students about Social Entrepreneurship, and
differentiate between it and charity work.
пЃ¶ More important than conceptualizing Social Entrepreneurship is promoting for its positive
impact and societal change.
пЃ¶ Personal characteristics and qualities that need to be instilled as a step to educate about social
entrepreneurship, i.e. innovation, self-confidence, self-assessment, critical thinking…etc.
пЃ¶ Start by educating state media, this is the key to reach the grassroots citizens, parents and
teachers, by selecting influential media personnel and anchors to spread the idea
пЃ¶ Targeting the change of the whole educational system is a long complicated process; there is a
need to break it down to have tangible outcomes on short term duration.
пЃ¶ Dividing our target schools: 1) International Elite schools, whose students only need workshops
and activities to learn about Social Entrepreneurship; 2) Governmental schools, whose students
do not have the potential or chance to listen to tutors or attend workshops talking about
“change”; and then acting accordingly.
пЃ¶ Promoting innovation too, might result in people thinking it is quite difficult to achieve, while
framing it as sustainable development is easier to perceive.
пЃ¶ It is never about promoting Social Entrepreneurship only; rather, it is always about fostering the
right ecosystem of supporters and investors as well.
пЃ¶ Most feasible way to educate someone is to engage them, like with competitions and activities.
Youth who get engaged are very creative, once engaged!
пЃ¶ Engaging the business sector in changing the culture about entrepreneurship is extremely
important, training students to join the market and partner with businesses to recruit them is a
way of encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.
пЃ¶ Many CSOs working on education prefer to stay out of school, there is a need to get them to
work inside schools as this would have the utmost effect.
пЃ¶ Education is not just through schools and universities, it can be informal education, it can be a
wave of beliefs.
пЃ¶ Unleashing the potential is as important as teaching the skills, there should be attention to
creating the appetite of students to innovate.
The session’s outcomes | Working sub-groups:
Participants in the session who generated the above rich dialogue agreed on tangible actions to take,
they formed sub groups in order to work together to develop a comprehensive vision, allowing them to
plan for further action to be taken.
Groups are to research, map and tackle the following areas specifically:
пѓ� Media.
пѓ� Alternative Education (informal education).
пѓ� Schools and universities.
пѓ� Educational Ecosystem.
The outcomes of these sub-groups will be a comprehensive research of each group’s:
1- Role and effect on educating the community about Social Entrepreneurship
2- Required action steps to start with to raise SE awareness about SE and instill a culture of SE in
the community knowledge and the Education System.
We hope that after you review the four sub-groups, you kindly reach out to us, via email, at, to let us know which working group you would like to be part of.
Many thanks for being part of our Ashoka-Synergos JAMs and for driving the conversations forward.
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