Syndicate content

Best Ideas of 2011: Revolutionizing mindsets for a new Arab World

Diana Hollmann's picture

The DM will be having a competition in Egypt around employment in agriculture. We will be featuring articles around these subjects in the coming months as we move toward the competition date.

This article was originally published on http://www.nextbillion.net/. NextBillion is a website and blog bringing together a community in the shared mission of development through enterprise.


Photo Credit: Lorenz Khazaleh via Flickr

Barriers to unleashing entrepreneurial activity

Through the media we mostly hear about the political transformations sparked by the Arab Spring; but the dire economic situation, particularly of the youth in the region, was the final straw that actually got the ball rolling: two thirds of the region’s population is below 30 years of age. Some 20 to 30 percent of youth, in some countries up to a staggering 45 percent, are unemployed while barriers for starting a new business persist. By 2020, 50 million new jobs will have to be created just to keep current unemployment figures on the same level. Business creation will be an important motor for job growth; however, barriers for aspiring entrepreneurs are still commonplace in MENA. When Steve Jobs (who was half Syrian) passed away, a 28-year old from Damascus said: “I think that if (Jobs) had lived in Syria he would not have been able to achieve any of this, or else he would have chosen to leave Syria.”

Mentoring Local Organizations - Here’s How!

Jennifer Lentfer's picture

Mentoring has become a very important means for social entrepreneurs to gain skills from an experienced entrepreneur. It has become one of the most effective ways to build an organization's capacity. Mentor's can give advice, encouragement and leverage their contacts to help an organization grow. Jennifer Lentfer offers some practical guidelines for developing an effective mentor relationship.


Stronger, more sustainable community-based organizations can contribute to a more effective and participatory civil society response to the needs of vulnerable people in the developing world.

Donors can support organizations even at the beginning stages of organizational development with an intent to leave groups stronger than when they first entered into partnership. Different types of capacity building activities such as mentoring relationships and exchange visits between organizations can offer the most relevant and supportive technical assistance through sharing on-the-ground experience among organizations at all levels of organizational development.

الريادة المجتمعية فى مصر: التحديات والفرص

Myra Valenzuela's picture

يعد هذا المقال الأول من ضمن سلسلة من المقالات ذات الصلة والتى ستعرض باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية.

 كتابة: مايرا فالينزويلا

تعد معدلات البطالة العالية بالذات لدى الشباب فى منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا من أهم الأسباب والدوافع المؤدية لأحداث الربيع العربى وثوراته. وللمساهمة فى حل ذلك التحدى وخلق فرص عمل ينوى مشروع  "سوق التنمية" (Development Marketplace) الإعلان عن مسابقة قومية فى بداية العام القادم. ويقوم برنامج "سوق التنمية" بالبنك الدولى بتقديم الدعم المادى والفنى سواء للمبادرات الجديدة أو المبادرات القائمة والتى تهدف للتوسع وستركز تلك المسابقة على دعم مشروعات الريادية المجتمعية التى تساهم فى خلق فرص عمل بالذات لدى الشباب المهمشومحدود الدخل فى مجال الزراعة والتنمية الريفية فى مصر.

ومن أجل التعرف بشكل أكبر على مجال الريادية المجتمعية  (Social Entrepreneurship) فى مصر، تحدثت مع إيهاب عبده، زميل مؤسسة أشوكا ومستشار سابق لمبادرة شباب الشرق الأوسط بمؤسسة بروكنغز وهو يقوم حاليا بالتحضير لبرنامج "سوق التنمية" فى مصر استعدادا لاطلاقه فى عام 2012. بالنسبة لايهاب توجد ثلاثة تحديات رئيسية تواجه قطاع الريادية المجتمعية فى المنطقة وفى مصر على وجه الخصوص وهى:

Social Entrepreneurship in Egypt: Challenges and Opportunities

Myra Valenzuela's picture

This is the first of many multi-lingual blog post to come. It will appear in both English and Arabic.

Abduallah Abdel Qassim, 47, partner in aluminum shop making window frames (World Bank Photo Collection)High rates of youth unemployment across the Middle East and North Africa were a major catalyst for the Arab Spring revolutions.   To help address this pressing issue, the Development Marketplace is preparing for a country-level competition in Egypt early next year. The proposed DM competition will focus on social entrepreneurs with projects that have a strong impact on creating sustainable job opportunities, especially for low-income and marginalized groups.  The main focus of the Egypt DM will be on supporting projects in the agricultural supply chain sector.

In order to understand the bigger picture of social entrepreneurship in Egypt, I spoke with Ehaab Abdou, who recently joined the Development Marketplace team to develop the Egypt DM program. Prior to coming to the Bank Ehaab was an Ashoka Fellow and advisor for the Middle East Youth Initiative at Brookings.  For Ehaab, there are three main challenges facing social entrepreneurship in the MENA region and in Egypt in particular:

DM 2009 Winner Cusichaca Trust Featured in Smithsonian Magazine

Myra Valenzuela's picture

Source of Photo: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/Climate change has exacerbated the dryness of the eight-month dry season in Peru’s highlands. As a means of adaptation, the Cusichaca Trust and the Asociación Andina Cusichaca are using a DM grant to restore proven Inca-era agricultural practices to conserve water and increase crop yields.

A couple of months ago, journalist Cynthia Graber visited the project and featured it in Smithsonian Magazine:


The Andes are some of the tallest, starkest mountains in the world. Yet the Incas, and the civilizations before them, coaxed harvests from the Andes’ sharp slopes and intermittent waterways. They developed resilient breeds of crops such as potatoes, quinoa and corn. They built cisterns and irrigation canals that snaked and angled down and around the mountains. And they cut terraces into the hillsides, progressively steeper, from the valleys up the slopes. At the Incan civilization’s height in the 1400s, the system of terraces covered about a million hectares throughout Peru and fed the vast empire.

GSBI Application Opens Today!

Kirsten Spainhower's picture

Global Social Benefit Incubator - LogoThe Global Social Benefit Incubator empowers socially-minded entrepreneurs to build sustainable, scalable organizations and to solve problems for people living in poverty around the world. As the signature program of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University, this experiential skill-building program combines online and in-residence exercises with training and mentoring from academic leaders and Silicon Valley visionaries over an intensive 8-month period.

Unconventional Development – Supporting Home Grown Genius

Aleem Walji's picture

Villgro, one of the largest incubators and funders of social enterprises in India, is hosting its annual Unconvention from December 1-3. Unlike other platforms, this event attracts people at the intersection of innovation and social enterprise with a clear focus on social impact and generating replicable models. I will be presenting at a panel discussion on December 3rd called Mainstreaming Your Social Business.

At the World Bank, we realize that public goods cannot be provided exclusively by governments acting alone. Private actors have a clear role to play and not just commercial enterprises. In India as elsewhere, we’re seeing the emergence of enterprises that combine the passion of NGO’s with the efficiency of business to address government and market failures. This is an extremely exciting possibility for the Bank and for our client Governments to consider. How do we encourage these actors to complement the State and how do we harness innovations around public goods to better serve the poor? The Development Marketplace is but one of many programs we support to surface, support, and diffuse innovation. The role of the Bank’s Innovation Practice is to pay attention to what’s going on around us and use the convening power and resources of the Bank to shine a light on innovations in development and scale-up what works.  

Follow me @AlWalji. I’ll be posting on #devmarket, #Innovation,  #alchemix throughout the event.

From more on the Unconvention read the interview of Sucharita Kamath at Vilgro as she describes how the Unconvention will convene different players in the social enterprise ecosystem in India to achieve broad-based social impact.

This article was originally published on http://www.nextbillion.net/. NextBillion is a website and blog bringing together a community in the shared mission of development through enterprise.


Unconvention 2011 Hones in on Landing Top Socent Talent

Since its launch in 2011, Villgro has identified and assisted approximately 2,000 social innovators and positively impacted the lives of more than 360,000 people living in rural India. The organization's strength lies in finding innovators and entrepreneurs, providing skill, development and critical access to networks and other resources necessary to take their innovations to the marketplace. Critical to its continued success is the ability to connect with more homegrown geniuses just waiting to be discovered in every corner of India.

Solar Bottle Lights: Transforming Plastic Bottle Waste to Light Bulbs

Myra Valenzuela's picture

Source of photo: http://isanglitrongliwanag.org/gallery/the-spark-that-will-light-a-million/It’s surprising how simple the design of a solar bottle light is – take an empty plastic bottle, fill it with mineral water and a few drops of bleach, and cement it halfway through a small metal roof sheet (the kind used as roofs in Manila’s slum areas). Then cut out a small piece of the actual roof, place the sheet with the bottle on top of the hole, cement any cracks, and voilà! Let there be light.

This initiative, a project designed and developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and implemented by MyShelter Foundation, is already transforming lives of low-income people in the Philippines.

Crowd-Fund Your Next Idea on StartSomeGood.com

Myra Valenzuela's picture

Are you a social entrepreneur looking for early-stage funding? Look no further than StartSomeGood.com (SSG), a new platform for social entrepreneurs (SEs) to raise funds and grow a community of supporters. SSG uses a crowd-funding model which allows SEs to ask for small amounts of money from supporters around the world, with average donations ranging from US$25 to $50. While similar to other online fundraising platforms such as GlobalGiving, SSG allows unincorporated groups, along with registered 501(c)3s, for-profits, and social enterprises to use the platform.

In New India Map, Ayllu Identifies 9 Constraints, Innovations to Reaching Scale

Melissa Richer and Juli Huang's picture

Scale For social entrepreneurs facing the myriad of challenges related to scaling up (not just financing), here’s a resource that may provide some insights. The Ayllu Initiative has recently launched the India Map, which portrays 24 social entrepreneurs’ perspectives on various growth challenges, and how they are innovating around them.

“This is the best example of what I love to call Indo-vation. This is India as not only a hotbed of technological innovation, it’s a hotbed of social innovation, and it’s a hotbed of business model innovation.” – Aleem Walji, manager of the Innovation Practice at World Bank Institute

Read through the article below from NextBillion for more details!

This article was originally published on http://www.nextbillion.net/. NextBillion is a website and blog bringing together a community in the shared mission of development through enterprise.


Image source: www.nextbillion.netAyllu is proud to announce the India Map. Just launched at SOCAP 11, the map examines, through the perspective of entrepreneurs, key scaling challenges and innovations. Sponsored by Potencia Ventures (formerly Artemisia International), the map focuses on what constraints enterprises across sectors in India face to understand the contexts in which they work, establish their business models, and scale up their operations and impact. Ayllu identified 9 major scaling constraints as well as innovations, which are illustrated by hundreds of case examples. The map format is consistent with the Energy Map we released in May; we want the case studies and data to speak for themselves. Users can easily and quickly search within it for information that is most relevant to them.

Pages