In September 2012 and as part of its Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) series, the Development Marketplace (DM) team hosted a discussion entitled “Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities & Challenges in MENA: Presentations from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine” where we invited Synergos Social Innovators to share their experiences from the region.
Much like the kinds of social enterprises the DM hopes to support in Egypt, Synergos also supports social innovators in the region to fulfill unmet needs for the poor and marginalized. Synergos is a non-profit that mobilizes resources and bridges social and economic divides to reduce poverty and increase equity around the world.
The Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) program was launched in 2008 with leadership and funding from the US Agency for International Development. AWSI supports nearly 40 civil society leaders serving poor and marginalized communities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and the United Arab Emirates. Social innovators are pioneers of change in their communities and offer original approaches, methods, and solutions to address social and economic problems.
For more information on the event you can access the full report here.
The DM team has been hosting this BBL series with the aim of informing its program design, identifying potential partners and fostering a wide multi-sectoral dialogue on inclusive growth and support to the poor and disenfranchised in Egypt and the MENA region. For instance, in July 2012 we hosted a BBL focused around the question: "How Can Social Entrepreneurs & Inclusive Businesses Contribute to Equitable Growth in MENA?"
Below find three engaging interviews with Ezzat Naem of Spirit Youth Association (Egypt), Maysoun Odeh Gangat of 96 NISAA FM (Palestine) and, Ziad Abichaker of Cedar Environmental (Lebanon). Each one of them briefly discuss their respective current efforts, impacts, challenges, opportunities, and plans.