Entrepreneurs in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq will compete for the chance to win business grants up to $15,000, intensive technical assistance, and to pitch their business to the region’s most important investors.
BEIRUT: The world’s largest competition for entrepreneurs is kicking off in its third edition on December 15. The Startup Roadshow-Wired will bring together 4,000 entrepreneurs in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq, with the ambitious aim of “leaving no entrepreneur behind” during the global pandemic.
Organized by Jusoor and SPARK, with the high contribution of The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), Lebanese entrepreneurs will be admitted to new open-access online entrepreneurship trainings and will get the chance to meet and work with Turkish, Jordanian, and Iraqi and Syrian entrepreneurs.
The 50 entrepreneurs (Startups and SMEs) will then compete to pitch at the final Roadshow Demo Day, where they will battle it out for cash prizes of $15,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place winners.
“We knew we had to keep innovating during COVID-19 to ensure entrepreneurship in the region remains supported – the stakes are too high not to. We are so pleased to be working with Jusoor again this year in supporting refugee and host country businesses through these incredibly challenging times. Special thanks for our partners the Qatar Fund for Development, who believed in and supported The Startup Roadshow-Wired 2020,” said Yannick du Pont, Founder and Director of SPARK.
The winners of the Startup Roadshow-Wired will also get the chance to showcase their businesses during the 2021 SPARK Ignite annual conference.
Entrepreneurs with business ideas from any of the 4 host countries can register for the entrepreneurship bootcamp in December 2020.
The Startup Roadshow-Wired was first launched in 2018. Given the pandemic, this year’s competition has been reinvented to provide trainees with access to virtual training and mentorship. The roadshow will also offer new online Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, which will be available to thousands of entrepreneurs in the MENA region.
“Looking at the data from the last few years, we knew we had to offer a new track for SMEs this year, especially given how hard Syrian-led small businesses have been hit by the pandemic. We are also so excited to expand our model to reach thousands of new entrepreneurs this year through the exciting open access online training in Arabic – a first of its kind in the MENA region,” said Dania Ismail, Board Member and Director of Jusoor’s Entrepreneurship Program.
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. www.jusoorsyria.com
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. http://www.spark-online.org/
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. https://qatarfund.org.qa/en/