Shaikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, Executive Director of INJAZ Bahrain
INJAZ Al-Arab, a member of JA Worldwide, and Citi Foundation, Citi’s social investment arm, announced the renewal of their partnership to foster entrepreneurship among Arab youth by supporting two INJAZ Al-Arab Programs: The Company Program and Innovation Camps across eight countries in MENA, including the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Targeting a total of 9,620 Arab youth, the two programs seek to improve entrepreneurship, financial literacy and soft skills amongst the youth population in an effort to positively impact the economic growth of the region, in line with The Citi Foundation’s commitment to promoting economic progress for young people by providing them opportunities in enterprise education. With this renewed commitment, the Company Program is expected to reach 600 students and the ICamp Program is expected to reach 900 students in Bahrain.
Shaikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, Executive Director of INJAZ Bahrain, said: “We are grateful to Citi foundation for their continued valuable partnership with INJAZ Bahrain and their financial and volunteer support. Together with INJAZ Bahrain, we work on building and influencing the future generation and the youth and equip them with the right set of skills to be able to success in the market place. With this partnership, we will be able to reach out to even more students, giving them the opportunity to excel and succeed in this challenging and ever changing global economy.”
The Company Program fosters students’ entrepreneurial mindset by allowing them to organize and operate actual businesses. Students not only learn how businesses function, but also get the chance to compete at national and regional competitions. Innovation Camps, on the other hand, are a one-day action-packed event, that caters to creativity, teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and presentation skills, by challenging students to find innovative solutions and create concepts that address real business challenges.
The Citi Foundation’s recently funded survey, titled: “Unlocking Arab Youth Entrepreneurship” (http://bitly.com/citi-uayep) reported that most students who completed INJAZ’s Company Program had gained more initiative, self-motivation and critical mind sets in both the job search and entrepreneurial process in the Arab World.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Usman Ahmed, Citi Bahrain CEO said: “Citi Bahrain has held two Innovation Camp events to date, which were instrumental in training and developing the students through The Company Program. It is truly satisfying to see how these two INJAZ programs enlighten the students’ and allow their creativity to be developed through ideas and products they put together. We are proud to be playing a role in helping students understand the challenges of real life market conditions and the importance of sound decision making in to be able to create a sustainable business”.
As a step further towards nurturing entrepreneurship, Citi Foundation’s grant also funds an award that was presented at INJAZ Al-Arab’s “Regional Young Entrepreneurs Competition”. This year, the event was held on the 24th and 25th November 2015 in Oman and the award recognized the INJAZ Bahrain team for providing the most exceptional customer service model.
Since the commencement of the partnership nearly three decades ago, Citi Foundation remains JA World wide’s largest global corporate partner. In addition to providing more than $4 million worth of funding to support JA initiatives in 52 countries, more than 2,000 Citi volunteers have also given their time on an annual basis to JA programs.