Court resumes 379 MBs trial over Nahda sit-in dispersal incidents    Turkey facing political turbulence amid PM's resignation    Saudi businessman kidnapped in Egypt freed    Egypt's Zamalek agrees on Omar Gaber move to Swiss Basel    Egypt keeps position in nearly unchanged FIFA rankings    Russian military delegation in Egypt over boosting military cooperation    Zeinhom morgue to receive bodies of 13 Egyptians killed in Libya    Sudan repeats its claim over two disputed regions with Egypt    China eyes consolidation at Rio, excellence at Tokyo    Turkish army hits back after rocket fire from Syria, kills four IS group militants    Italian delegation in Cairo Saturday for talks on Regeni case    Brazil lawmakers propose bill to back WhatsApp    Devaluation sharpens Egypt's non-oil business slowdown in April: PMI    U.S. tech firms urge presidential candidates to bolster trade, high-tech visas    India turns down Apple's plan to import used iPhones    Gold futures gain Rs 151 on global cues    China stocks dip on growth concerns    Egypt's Foreign Reserves Rise to Highest in Eight Months    Egypt's journalists rage against interior ministry, minister image in negative    Asia shares slip for seventh session, bonds well bid    Sisi says ‘Western' human rights values don't apply in Egypt    Gas Pipeline explosion in Giza leaves civilian injured    Syria's Aleppo relatively calm as truce takes effect: Residents    Clinton calls Trump a 'loose cannon,' risky U.S. president    VIDEO: 'Break the gag order', Egyptian journalists chant at press syndicate    Sisi extends state of emergency in North Sinai for 3 months    Egypt's Forex reserves up 2.8pct in April: CBE    LIVE COVERAGE: Egyptian journalists protest storming of press syndicate in Cairo    Egypt court acquits former Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Nazif    Afreximbank seeks to raise $3 bln this year: Bank president    Germany relaxes rules on using cannabis for medical purposes    Security tightens measures around the Press Syndicate    Radiohead releases single after stirring intrigue on twitter    Leicester wins English title for 1st time in 132-year history    Mohamed Mounir holds concert to welcome refugees in Frankfurt    Ministerial committee inspects Rashid's archaeological sites on Tuesday    Palestinians blast Eurovision Song Contest's flag policy in Sweden    Art Alert: Organ concert in Cairo church    Egypt's Press Syndicate calls for general assembly, sit-in at HQ after police 'attack'    ‪#‎AmwalAlGhad‬ | Egyptian journalists call for sacking of police minister after Sunday raid    Ministerial visit to Rasheed to evaluate archeological sites    New winner of expelled MP Tawfik Okasha's seat announced after by-election    MUSIC AND DANCE    MUSEUMS    Adrenaline rush    Victory in Africa    Surprise promotions    FIFA threatens to suspend Egypt over court ruling    







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





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.