Following almost 6 months of intensive workshops, months of services, and hours of mentorship, Jusoor and Spark, in collaboration with the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD), concluded their Startup Roadshow — Wired with a final Demo Day on Thursday, July 8. Six out of 13 teams were chosen to win cash prizes worth $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 for first, second, and third places.
First prize winners are the Jar Thuraya team from the SMEs and the Harika Şef team from the startups. Each team received a cash prize of $15,000. Jar Thuraya brings together the handcrafted delicacies produced by Lebanese women, contributing to both empowering women and celebrating Lebanon’s natural resources. Harika Şef delivers pre-packed meal boxes. These boxes each contain the exact ingredients needed to make a particular meal, and is rounded with full illustrated instructions on how to prepare the meal with the ingredients provided.
Second prize winners are the Shafak team from the SMEs and the Find a Nurse team from the startups. Each team received a cash prize of $10,000. Shafak is an educational center that provides different courses to Syrians and Arabs in Turkey and the Arab world. Courses include: Languages (Turkish, English, Arabic); Turkish curriculum in Arabic; among others. Find A Nurse helps families find and hire best matching home care providers sourced by local home agencies via an online platform.
Third prize winners are the Eduba team from the SMEs and the Counsela App team from the startups. Each team received a cash prize of $5,000. Eduba is a modern educational startup that offers the ability to learn by following best practices, distance education, customized lesson plans, managed assignments, and complete evaluations. In addition, the platform offers a comprehensive Education Transformation Framework that aims to reshape education in the MENA. Counsela is an online anonymous and affordable psychological counseling platform that caters to people’s psychological needs.
The Demo Day featured several keynote speakers including Ronaldo Mouchawar, VP of Amazon MENA and co-founder of Souq.com; Ahmad Nehlawi, Vice President of the Board of Directors at Jusoor; and Mohammed Skaik, Regional Business Development Manager. The ceremony was presented by Racha Ghamlouch, Co-Chief Aggregator at Digital Digest. The 13 top teams showcased their projects to the judges including Rasha Manna, General Manager of Flat6Labs in Jordan; Amr Seif, c-suite investment professional; Islam Mahdy, Chairman & CEO of Credence; and Amr Fikry, Managing Partner at Lorax Capital Partners. A panel discussion was also held to cover “Investing in Syrian and Host Community Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.” Panelists included Abdulsalam Haykal, Founder and Executive Chairman of Majarra; Dania Ismail, Co-founder of Jusoor and Director of the Entrepreneurship Program; and Hesham Halbouny, Partner – Man Capital London.
Building on Jusoor’s vision “No Entrepreneur Left Behind,” the virtual boot camp was originally launched in February and brought together 6,000 entrepreneurs from Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. The top 50 businesses were selected to participate in the incubation phase, and were provided 3 months of services, including 50+ hours of specialized group business training, 600+ hours of 1:1 mentorship, 100+ hours of 1:1 legal and marketing consultation, and direct business services worth over $100,000 USD. From these 50 businesses, the organizers chose the top 13 teams to showcase their projects at the Demo Day on July 8 and 6 teams won first, second and third prizes.
Jusoor is an NGO founded by Syrian expatriates with a mission to support Syrian youth to realize their potential through programs in the fields of education, entrepreneurship, and global community engagement.
Since its launch in 2011, Jusoor has enabled over 625 university students to complete their degrees around the world. We have enrolled over 7,000 children in our primary schools, giving them the gift of a basic education. And our entrepreneurship program has trained and inspired over 500 young entrepreneurs. By investing in these children and youth, Jusoor is preparing a generation of change agents to be able to return to Syria and play a role in rebuilding every sector of society, from healthcare to education to business to governmental institutions.
Jusoor’s work has been recognized by global institutions and has been honored with the Academic Freedom Award from the Middle East Studies Association of North America in 2015, the Takreem Humanitarian and Civic Services Award in 2017 and the Institute of International Education (IIE) Centenary Medal in 2019.
SPARK provides access to higher education and supports entrepreneurship development in fragile states so that young, ambitious people can lead their societies into stability and prosperity. SPARK provides a variety of full-service business and entrepreneurship programmes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We believe that sustainable, economic growth is essential for the alleviation of poverty. By offering private-sector development services to young people in conflict-affected regions, we believe that the potential for further conflict is significantly reduced.
ABOUT QATAR FUND FOR DEVELOPMENT (QFFD)
QFFD is a public development institution committed, on behalf of the State of Qatar, to implement external aid projects. It has provided aid to several countries around the world to achieve the international cooperation goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030. The Qatar Fund for Development’s main goal is to achieve inclusive and sustainable development, by addressing priority issues of education, health and economic empowerment.