Few Egyptians Heed Calls For 'Islamic Revolution'; Minor Clashes    Sound Bomb Goes Off Near Cairo's Tahrir Square    Policeman Dies From Injuries Sustained In Cairo Clashes    Samsung to Buy Back $2 Billion Worth of Shares    IMF Finds Signs of Overvaluation in Canada Housing    Yemen's Shiite, Sunni rivals hold rare meeting    Policeman dies from injuries sustained in Cairo clashes    Future of real estate in Egypt a prominent theme in Abu Dhabi investor conference    Preview: Egypt's Ahly eye elusive African trophy    Manchester City boss says Aguero can be better than Messi and Ronaldo    Update: Clashes between protesters, police leave 2 dead in Matariya    Egypt authorities must end Sinai home demolitions: Amnesty    Sound bomb goes off near Cairo's Tahrir Square    2 army officers killed, 3 conscripts injured in drive-by shootings    Egyptian police disperse small Islamist rallies in Nile Delta cities    Liverpool's Rodgers joint favourite for the sack    New Burkina PM vows investigations into Compaore-era deaths    Brazil football legend Pele says 'nothing serious' with him    Soccer great Pele in intensive care, condition improving: hospital    Rebels push forward in southern Syria    Cairo art installation explores soul of architecture    Saudis block OPEC output cut, oil price sinks further    Egypt housing project talks slowed by Arabtec board changes: Minister    UAE's Dana Gas in talks with Egypt over revising gas prices    HRW calls on Egypt to end FGM    Egypt, France Sign Arms Deal Despites Rights Opposition    Ebola Vaccine from Glaxo Passes Early Trials    Four European Stock Indexes Closed After Technical Issues    Opportunities, Challenges for Investment in Egypt's Renewable Energy Sector    FA to 'honor' departing Egypt manager    Egypt economy recovering after 4 years of slow activity: IMF mission chief    Al-Sisi, Hollande hold counter terrorism talks    PHOTO GALLERY: Revisiting Egypt's contemporary dance scene    Cyprus and Egypt Freeze out Turkey in Possible Gas Deal    Egypt's Sisi Piles on to Hagel's Fractured Legacy    BREAKING: Lebanese songstress Sabah dies at 87    UPDATE: Building collapse in Cairo kills 18 people    Students Against the Coup threatens more road blocks    Al-Sisi meets Pope Francis    Port Said trial postponed to 20 December    Egyptian squash player wins world title for 3rd time    VIDEO: Ahli grab dramatic 96th minute win, Zamalek go top    How does Egyptian culture influence its politics?    Army refused to secure the match: Port Said trial defendant    Australian Actor Chris Hemsworth Named 'Sexiest Man Alive' By People Magazine    German Auction House Putting Hitler Watercolour On Market    How Michael Jackson Made $150 Million In 2014    Little Egypt: Journey through history in 2 hours    







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" class="city">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" class="city">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" class="city">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.