Police arrest two suspects in Aswan tribal clashes    Saudi prince says Gulf states must balance threat from Iran    Ministry of Interior, Al-Azhar students clash through the night    Al-Azhar students, professors sentenced to 3 years in prison for protesting    Egypt stocks slightly up, enhanced by the telecoms sector    Belly dancer fined over TV channel violations    Paying for giant Nile Dam itself, Ethiopia thwarts Egypt but takes risks    Tennis: Ferrer ousted by another Russian at Barcelona Open    World-famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass under investigation for graft    Correction: SODIC registers EGP 477m net loss in 2013    Female sit-in held outside presidential palace against the Protest Law    Bomb kills Brigadier General; Lieutenant dies in shoot out    Cycling: Rogers cleared to race after doping case    Formula One boss Ecclestone goes on trial in bribery case    US to deliver Apache helicopters to Egypt, relaxing hold on aid    Egypt to pay some $1bn owed oil firms within two months: Minister    Egypt issues law barring challenges to state deals    Barcelona transfer ban suspended during appeal: FIFA    Netanyahu tells Abbas to choose peace partner: Hamas or Israel    Huawei Says Reports Of NSA Spying Won't Impact Growth    Syria's Chemical Weapons Wild Card: Chlorine Gas    Obama Reassures Japan, Other Allies On China Ahead Of Visit    Government Preparing Environmental Standards For Coal Power: Minister Of Industry    Egypt Has Faced USD 14 Bln Worth Of Cases From Investors Since 2011: Judge    BREAKING: Car bomb injures policeman in Sixth October City    Zewail University Open to Fresh Applicants Despite Campus Crisis    Egyptian Shares End Higher, Gain EGP7bn    Syrians arrested while attempting to illegally emigrate    VIDEO: Zamalek soundly beaten by rampant Petrojet    More video evidence presented as Al Jazeera trial resumes    Port Said Massacre retrial hearing postponed    Anti-harassment campaign intervened in 17 harassment cases during Easter    Art Alert: Omar Khairat at Cairo Opera    Egypt's PEC to begin accepting objections to presidential candidates    Egyptians Celebrate Ancient Festival Of Sham El-Nessim    Death count in ferry sinking tops 100    Ex-Army Chief El-Sisi Ahead Of Sole Competitor Sabahi Before Presidential Race    Egypt's Sinai: Mapping Terror    VIDEO: Koka unlucky as Rio Ave thrashed at Porto    Elneny misses out on cup title again    Boy flies California to Hawaii in jet's wheel well    Art Alert: Guitar, cello and piano at the Arabic Music Institute    El-Sisi Challenging To Retain Time Magazine's Reader Poll    Egypt's Government Pulls Film Starring Arab ‘Sex Symbol', Awaits Review By Censors    Ashour leads home hopes into second round at El Gouna    Ministries Battle over Future of Cairo's Mubarak-era Building    Mawwell launches the first crowdfunding platform targeting EMEA market    Bollywood Love Story brings magic of India to Egypt    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.




Your friends recommend

A new platform of hope for Arab youth
Published in Daily News Egypt on 25 - 03 - 2012

DOHA: The Arab world today is home to millions of young people with hopes, plans and the desire to work. With more than 100 million young people between 15 and 29, representing 30 percent of the total population, the region is facing an unprecedented “youth bulge”.
This reality has led to many challenges when it comes to youth employment — but it can also be seen as an opportunity to foster youth-powered positive change, using social networks and technology to create much-needed impact.
Today, there simply aren't enough jobs for youth coming into the region's labor markets. Public sector jobs are no longer a guarantee for graduates, and the private sector is unable to grow fast enough. For example, in Egypt 600,000 young people enter the labor market each year, but only about 250,000 of them find a job.
The result: millions of young adults are forced to make a living on their own through self-employment, despite low incomes. For many of these micro-entrepreneurs — who have very small, self-owned enterprises — the only thing standing between subsistence level income and thriving, sustainable businesses is a lack of reliable, affordable capital. But too many financial institutions see young people as a risk when it comes to loaning money.
It may be time for others to help fill the gap.
Even though young Arabs may still be looking for work, they definitely have found their voice. The advent of technologies such as the internet, mobile phones and social media has provided young people with tools to help them make change happen. One way to drive change is to fund, engage and celebrate young people who are trying to make a living on their own, and show how we as individuals around the world can help foster change. Technology and social media play an important role in achieving this.
Accordingly, two organizations — Silatech, the Arab region's largest youth microenterprise support provider, and Kiva, the world's largest online micro-lending platform — have together created Kiva Arab Youth, an online platform that offers a way for people throughout the world to help young Arab entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses through small microloans of as little as $25. An example of how this works in practice is Shawgy, a 26-year-old man who lives in Taiz, Yemen.
He couldn't afford an education and decided to start his own shop, which he has run for four years to help support his family. He wants to increase his sales to offer his parents a better future — but in order to do so needs to buy more products that offer his customers more variety. He lacks the capital to do this on his own, but a small loan will allow him to buy more products and increase his sales. Kiva lenders — ordinary people around the world — can make small contributions towards loans for individuals like Shawgy in the Arab world through Kiva's online platform, which are matched by Silatech.
But this is only the start.
There is a clear opportunity for the creation of online peer-to-peer platforms in Arabic that connect charities, lenders and donors (in Arab countries and globally) — potentially including Islamic charitable giving — to self-employed young men and women from disadvantaged backgrounds. There is a growing movement in the Arab and Muslim worlds toward more strategic, capacity-building forms of charitable giving which focus on long-term, sustainable impact.
Sustainable giving models such as “revolving loan funds” (which are loaned, repaid and returned to the lender to be reinvested to help more people), or “social investments” (which direct investor attention towards projects which generate social, as opposed to purely financial, returns), provide an opportunity to use these technology platforms to enable more impactful giving. These can be created for the young, and potentially by the young as well.
If widely adopted by the Arab world, such technology initiatives could mobilize billions of dollars by re-focusing current streams of charitable giving. Forums like the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP), a global network of individuals, foundations and corporations advancing charitable giving, offer a significant opportunity to showcase potential solutions that increase engagement between donors and recipients and fund projects that have positive social impacts.
Organizations such as Silatech — through its stakeholders, sponsors and partners in Qatar and elsewhere in the Arab region — have an opportunity to spark such a discussion and influence strategies and mind-sets about innovative uses of technology, as well as new forms of social giving.
Opinion shapers, social entrepreneurs, religious figures and other influencers in the region should consider putting their support behind this and similar forms of sustainable social action.
Ramakant Vempati is Senior Advisor and Justin Sykes is Manager for Social Innovation at Silatech. This article was written for the Common Ground News Service (CGNews), www.commongroundnews.org.


Clic here to read the story from its source.