Train crash kills 7    Blasts hit Cairo and Giza    Jailed activist nominated for human rights award    Egyptian Journalists Syndicate elections postponed to 20 March    Welbeck criticism off the mark, says Arsenal manager Wenger    FIFA president Blatter urges Iran to open stadiums to women    Egyptian policeman injured in drive-by shooting in Fayoum    Four minor blasts hit Cairo and Giza on Friday    Japan, China to hold first security talks in four years    UK lawmakers say China eroding freedoms in Hong Kong    Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan reach preliminary deal on Nile dam: Ministers    South Korea police investigate US ambassador attacker's visits to North    Free-scoring Salah scores twice to give Fiorentina a 2-1 Cup win at Juventus    Egypt's Minister of Interior replaced    Investment law, earnings lift Egypt's market    Revolution-'First Human' Discovered In Ethiopia    Apple to Delay Production of Larger iPads    Al-Azhar campaigns ‘against destructive thoughts' in Giza high schools    ECB to raise growth forecasts, flesh out bond-buying plan    World food prices continue to fall in February: U.N. FAO    Court accepts Press Syndicate's appeal    African Ministers Gather in Egypt to Tackle Climate Change    Saudi Ambassador to Cairo: Riyadh Keen on Egypt's Security    Hamas says Egypt's Court Ruling as 'Biggest Mistake against Palestinian Resistance'    McDonald's to cut Antibiotics in Chicken sold in the US    Citigroup's Past Losses may have helped it win Costco Business    Bomb Explodes at Upper Egypt Railway Station, No Casualties    China sets 2015 Growth Target at 7%    Marina Tourist Center 3rd housing ministry project to debut in Economic Summit    Knife-wielding attacker slashes face of U.S. ambassador in South Korea    Federer, Halep, and Šafářová dominate Dubai and Qatar tennis tournaments    Arabtec project under negotiations    Emaar, Orascom Constructions listings approved days before Economic Summit    Egypt, Russia to hold naval exercise: Russian state media    BREAKING: Fire at Cairo convention centre    Egypt denies meeting Houthi delegation    Egypt appoint Hector Cuper as New Coach    Cairo Stadium orders suspension of Drive Championship's 2nd round    Call for participants to join public art workshop    Egyptian artist's project to open photography festival in Dubai    World's biggest private Harry Potter collection on display    Naguib Sawiris plans to buy majority stake in Euronews    U.N. condemns Islamic State's 'Barbaric Terrorist Acts' in Iraq    For The First Time-Robin Williams' Daughter Reflects On Her Father's Death    Africa Cup of Nations: Egypt Confirms 2017 Bid Withdrawal    ‘Birdman' wins Four Oscars, including Best Picture    In Pictures: Egyptians ask for intercession on Mulid Al-Hussein    Antiquities ministry requests EGP 488m to continue projects: Cabinet spokesman    







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.