Posted on October 25, 2016

INJAZ Al-Arab, the regional office of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, and Citi Foundation renew their 11 year partnership in support of a common vision – to instil Arab youth with a spirit of entrepreneurship through the principle of ‘learning by doing’. Both parties aim to make a difference in the region by developing, empowering, and fostering students’ skills through various internationally acclaimed programs.

The partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab  is a part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress approach designed to prepare urban youth with the career readiness tools and opportunities to thrive in today’s economy. Specifically the partnership will support two Injaz Al-Arab programmes, The Company Programme and the Innovation Camps across nine countries in MENA, including Qatar. Together both initiatives target a total of 9,920 Arab youth and seek to foster their skills in entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

Akef Aqrabawi (pictured), Chief Executive Officer, INJAZ Al-Arab comments: “Thanks to the generous contribution of Citi, Arab students have the opportunity to hone their entrepreneurial skills as they become the leaders of tomorrow. Armed with these quintessential skills, youth can forcefully and confidently start and run their own businesses as well as become more well-rounded and employable developing their ideas into viable business options. The bigger picture is to equip youth to drive the economies of the Arab World forward through training designed to inspire them to develop ambition, entrepreneurship and professional skills.”

One of these programmes is the regional annual Company Program competition which was designed to inspire and prepare a generation of Arab youth to use their natural talents, passion and determination to become the business leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The initiative is a culmination of the course of 2016-2017 of experiential learning and application based activities executed by a select group of corporate mentors who work hand-in-hand with students on establishing, marketing and liquidating a real business.

“Unemployment amongst Arab youth currently stands at among the highest in the world. With a gap between the education system and job market in the Arab World, Arab youth need to take on the role of job creators themselves, which is why innovative educational programs based on developing entrepreneurial skills and mind-sets are needed now more than ever. The Citi Foundation-INJAZ partnership enables the next generation of entrepreneurs to develop skills that link to a tangible pathway to overcoming unemployment not only for themselves but creating job opportunities for others through their enterprises,” said Carmen Haddad, CEO of Citi Qatar and Regional Board member of Injaz Al-Arab.

Other programs include the Innovation Camp one-day events (I-camps) which are one day action-packed events designed to challenge students to find innovative solutions to real business challenges. I-camps caters to creativity, teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and presentation skills in order to learn about business start-ups in a fun and interactive way. “Our work with INJAZ Al-Arab in the Middle East will continue to invigorate a culture of entrepreneurship and improve work-readiness skills among young people across the region through our joint programs.” Haddad added.

Named one of the top 100 NGOs in the world by Global Journal, INJAZ Al-Arab has influenced the lives of over two million students since its inception in 2004.  INJAZ provides Arab students with entrepreneurship training, opportunities to develop soft and occupational skills, and the financial literacy required to start and run their own businesses as well as become more well-rounded and employable.