Posted on January 31, 2016

INJAZ Al-Arab, the regional office of Junior Achievement Worldwide, and ExxonMobil announced a two-year grant that is supporting a new learning platform to combine digital and classroom learning for INJAZ Al-Arab’s flagship Company Program®.

This experiential learning program takes youth through the entire startup cycle of creating their own business during an academic year. Upon completion of translation, localization and digitization of the program, the new platform will be piloted in Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates with an estimated 60, 600, 100, and 40 (respectively) high school and university students, before being released to INJAZ Al-Arab’s network across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Pakistan.

“ExxonMobil is a founding board member of INJAZ Al-Arab, and this collaboration marks 10 years of support, which has been crucial to the development and expansion of our operations across the MENA region,” said Sheikh Khaled Al Nahyan, Chairman of INJAZ Al-Arab. “During those 10 years, INJAZ Al-Arab has reached more than two million students across the region. We are extremely grateful for their ongoing support and excited about the prospect of being able to reach more than 10,000 Company Program participants annually via our online platform. Company Program represents INJAZ Al-Arab’s most impactful program and is sought after by our network of students and stakeholders.”

INJAZ Al-Arab is moving toward a digital and hybrid learning approach to efficiently maximize the benefits of its unique volunteer model, which brings private sector volunteers into classrooms to provide instruction and real world expertise in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness. This will diversify students’ learning experience while providing current and locally relevant subject matter.

The ExxonMobil Foundation and ExxonMobil MENA affiliates provide financial and volunteer support to INJAZ Al-Arab, the MENA chapter of Junior Achievement, which reaches nearly 400,000 youth annually. ExxonMobil senior executives serve on the boards of directors of INJAZ Al-Arab, Qatar, UAE and Egypt. In addition, more than 220 employee volunteers have shared their professional experiences and skills with students at local schools and universities.

“The new digital platform is another example of our continued commitment and dedication to the development and success of INJAZ Al-Arab and its initiatives that contribute to building the capacity of Arab youth,” said Alistair Routledge, President and General Manager for ExxonMobil Qatar and a board member of INJAZ Qatar. “ExxonMobil’s partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab provides a unique opportunity for young and aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their business acumen and creativity with an audience of some of MENA’s most successful business leaders. Playing a role in making the connection between young people with new ideas and business leaders is gratifying in itself as we believe strongly that these connections are critical for the future.”

Since 1919, Junior Achievement’s Company Program has taken students through a step-by-step process that works. Students partner with a mentor, learn leadership skills, identify business opportunities, set goals, develop a business plan, create a marketing strategy, launch a product, report to shareholders and write an annual report. Along the way, entrepreneurs are born. A longitudinal assessment by Junior Achievement Canada found that 30 percent of those who complete the Company Program start entrepreneurial ventures of their own in the course of their careers, as opposed to less than 5 percent of the general population.