Entrepreneurship: some interesting experiences across the world/4

Mostafa Shahat has been working in entrepreneurship field for 7 years. He founded a training company called G.O.L (Goal Oriented Learners). G.O.L is improving Egyptian youth employment’s skills to be qualified candidates for the job market by offering trainings on entrepreneurship, professional trainings (marketing, sales..ect).Mostafa succeed to deliver G.O.L trainings to 30,000 entrepreneurs & graduates in Egypt.Mostafa interviewed over 80 entrepreneurs from all over the Middle East and published their success stories in international entrepreneurship magazines.Mostafa succeed to build partnerships with several European organizations to organize funded Entrepreneurship programs by National European Agencies in Italy, Bulgaria and Netherlands. Here he gives us a collection of some very interesting stories from international entreneurship.

Theater and drama create sustainable communities

 

Theater and drama are tools to change the community and inspire youth and kids to be change-makers, arts in general can be used to build sustainable communities, through empowering young people who can make change and difference in their local communities as they always trying to develop creative and sustainable solutions to their daily lives challenges. One of the very few social enterprises in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, named Yes Theater has worked exclusively with children and young people using theater and drama as a tool to raise awareness and advocate on community issues.Mohamed Issa, half Palestinian / half Jordanian, studied chemical engineering in 2002, at Najah University in Palestine, obtained his master degree in International Cooperation and Development from Bethlehem University in 2012, worked as program manager at World Bank for 4 years since 2004, where he was responsible for providing quality management systems and curriculum development services for Palestinian universities.  Mohamed co-founded Yes Theater (YT), in 2008 with a group of co-founders who spent eighteen years implementing drama and theater projects and programs with youth inside and outside schools, in cooperation with the Palestine ministry of education.Mohamed says “The Palestinian community is suffering from many different social challenges” adds “we use drama and theater to build sustainable communities and empower youth and kids to be change-makers who can face their daily lives challenges with creative and sustainable solutions”.Yes Theater main tools to build the sustainable communities and empower youth to be change-makers are artistic performances specially speaking to the issues relevant to the Palestine society, drama workshops and theater performances capacity building for teachers in theater based techniques, advocacy plays and activities of culture exchange. Annually they reach to 30,000 youth and kids, and over than 100 teachers.

Mohamed says “When children and youth join Yes Theater, they grow up in many ways” adds “they amplify their voices, and leverage their influence and power as actors of social change and development”.Mohamed has founded a new social enterprise under the umbrella of YT, named Puppets 4 Kids where they are performing different plays with puppets that has social messages, the programs is targeting only school’s kids.  Yes Theater is located in Palestine, has more than 16 theater productions, YT’s activities operate through three main programs; Drama 4 All, Yes 4 Youth and Yes 4 Future, where they either teaching drama for teacher or youth, or creating drama plays with social messages.YT has performed in 15 different countries in three continents (Asia, Europe and Africa), and joined seven international festivals in Europe and Africa, and it’s considered the first theater in the entire Arab world that has been awarded with transparency international certificate.

Charisma Arts is using Arts and social initiatives to empower the community in Egypt

Egypt is rich with handicrafts, and after the Egyptian revolution in 2011, with the political and economical challenges, the field started to vanish. Producers and artisans suffered for years after the revolution to sell their handicrafts products, they depended more on the tourism industry, as their main customers were foreigners, but the tourism industry has dropped down after the revolution, and therefore they are not generating a sustainable living income.This is where the social entrepreneurs should step in and play a role to help the artisans to market and sell their handicrafts products not just to preserve the heritage as some of the handicrafts’ history goes back to thousands of years but as well helping those who were living by selling handicrafts products to have a sustainable living income as they used to.Vivian Labib Noeur, a social entrepreneur who founded Charisma Arts which is a social enterprise that empowers and trains artisans and marginalized communities to leverage the rich inheritance of Egyptian handmade products, and helps them creates sustainable income to enhance their life quality. She actually started this as the first Egyptian female to have an ecommerce site back in 2003, and was keen to promote unique handicrafts that also have a social impact on the producers.Charisma Arts started with marketing artisans’ handicrafts products through different online channels so they can sell their products not just in the local market, but as well in the international market. Currently she sells on charisma arts website unique gifts supporting families and looking for agents abroad to help marketing products of over 175 different groups of artisans products.  After the revolution, as a social entrepreneur who is keen to address the community challenges, Vivian registered Charisma Arts as a nonprofit foundation, and started also having other on-going projects that uses arts and social initiatives to empower the community, like “Box of Colors “that promotes the value of accepting diversity among youth and children, in addition to outreach program, and training program specially on entrepreneurship for the young entrepreneurs in Egypt.

‘Each one of us is representing a color, and a beautiful picture is combined with different colors, that’s why I named the event Box of Colors, as all of us together with our differences can make Egypt beautiful country’ says Vivian.Vivian had a Bachelor of Arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts in 1997, and she worked as graphic designer, translator, interior designer, marketing manager for companies in Egypt, and country manager for foreign companies in Egypt before starting her own social passion and establishing the social enterprise of Charisma Arts. In 2009 Vivian was chosen in cohort one in 10,000 women initiative, “Women entrepreneurship and leadership skills”, and was chosen first 20 entrepreneurs from Euro Mediterranean area by the Catholic university of Milan, Italy in 2010, was also chosen as a delegate to meet President Obama in 2010 in the social entrepreneurship presidential summit, and recently became a fellow in George W. Bush foundation in 2014, besides being chosen to be a speaker in the first TEDx Cairo Women in 2012.“Social entrepreneurship is not an option is an obligation” this is the famous quote Vivian likes to use to emphasis about the importance of social entrepreneurship specially in Egypt and specially in the current critical transforming stage – Vivian admires artistic work, and with her passion to the community development, she reached to orphanages, refugees, prisoners and Upper Egyptians to teach them some handicrafts skills, and provide mentorship, and finally help them to sell their products, by doing so, these people who are living in marginalized and isolated communities, they found source of sustainable living income.Besides providing several training to over 700 women all over Egypt on entrepreneurship and how to start your own business, Vivian also is a volunteer mentor in several women programs like “Aspire women” with Microsoft citizen and like “Women in business” mentorship program with US embassy in Cairo.Ms. Noeur has been a speaker in a number of events, where she is always keep empowering the audience and influencing youth to discover the charisma God has granted each and every one of them, and use it to help others and make an impact on the society, to spread the good will and volunteerism concept.Vivian has joined many local and international fairs where she sold many of the handicrafts products, and she received many international and national awards for her excellent work at Charisma Arts, and she used to have her own gallery in Cairo before the revolution.

 

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