Nahdet El Mahrousa and Yahoo! Are Looking For Egypt’s Next Great Social Entrepreneurs
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Nahdet El Mahrousa, an Egypt-based nongovernmental organization (NGO), will launch a social entrepreneurship program and competition on Monday, June 28th hoping to inspire young Egyptians to think about social entrepreneurship, and socially responsible business ideas, that are innovative and sustainable and can have a positive impact on Egypt. The competition will foster Internet innovation and growth in emerging markets across the Middle East with the unique combination of Nahdet El Mahrousa's commitment to Egypt's economic and social development, and Yahoo!'s global scale and technology expertise.
The "Social Innovation Starts With YOU" competition calls on young Egyptians to visit http://eg.socialinnovation.yahoo.com where inspirational stories are shared by some of today's most successful Egyptian social entrepreneurs. Additional resources will also include an entrepreneurship toolkit, a place to enter social entrepreneurial ideas to be eligible to win monetary grants and project incubation at Nahdet El Mahrousa's Incubator of Innovative Social Enterprises, which includes technical and management support to help bring the entrants ideas to life.
"In partnering with Yahoo!, we are furthering Nahdet El Mahrousa's mission to engage and activate young Egyptian professionals in the development and public arenas and in shaping Egypt's future," said Ehaab Abdou, cofounder and board member of Nahdet El Mahrousa. "Through the Social Innovation Starts With YOU competition we are seeking young social entrepreneurs who are agents of change in their communities and demonstrate strong passion for and appreciation of Egypt and its diversity."
Calling for Innovative Ideas
Today more than 16.5 million people use the Internet in Egypt, representing one of the largest Arab Internet populations. Starting on June 28, Yahoo! and Nahdet El Mahrousa invite individuals from across Egypt to be the next social entrepreneurs of the year by developing new enterprise ideas that have a positive developmental impact on the lives of Egyptians in the categories of education, health, environment, and a wildcard category. The competition's website (http://eg.socialinnovation.yahoo.com) will serve as an entry point for aspiring entrepreneurs by providing an online toolkit of resources, inspirational stories, advice, and Web services to get them started. Ten winners will be honored in November with monetary grants, capacity building, technical support, infrastructure, and performance management. Among the winners will also be current social entrepreneurs who will receive support to scale their efforts and achieve wider impact. In total, Yahoo! will contribute $500,000 to the campaign, and as part of that, will provide close to $250,000 in monetary grants to awardees.
"Yahoo!'s announcement to acquire Maktoob last year shined the spotlight on tech entrepreneurs in the Arab world and the incredible potential and talent in the region that is largely untapped," said Ahmed Nassef, vice president and managing director of Yahoo! Middle East. "This partnership with Nahdet El Mahrousa continues our commitment to invigorate and grow the Internet market in the Middle East as a whole and will enable the next wave of tech entrepreneurs from Egypt to realize their dreams. We can't wait to see their innovative ideas!"
Criteria for Competition
Each applicant's proposed social enterprise will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Root Causes: Projects must address the root causes of societal issues rather than addressing the symptoms. Scalability: Projects must have a clear vision on how to affect large segments of society. Innovation Projects must take an innovative approach to the need they are addressing.Sustainability: Projects must consider sustainability as a priority to ensure that the project would continue and would have the necessary means and resources — human, financial, and otherwise-— to be able to continue and expand. Mission: Projects must have clear and specific ideas with well-defined missions and objectives.Impact: Projects much have tangible impacts on target beneficiaries or clients.Monitoring and Evaluation: Applicants must list quantitative and qualitative performance indicators. Utilize the internet: Projects must leverage the internet in some capacity to meet their mission.
Vote for the Entrepreneur Who Has Already Made an Impact
Starting on June 28, 9 inspiring social entrepreneurs will be featured, and visitors to the website can vote for the entrepreneur who they think has made the biggest impact on their communities. The winner will be featured on the front page of Maktoob.com and invited to be a judge for the campaign's Social Innovation Competition.
The 9 inspiring social entrepreneurs include:
Sherief El Ghamrawy, Founder, Basata and HemayaRaghda El Ibrashy, Founder, Alashanik Ya BaladyManal El Mahdy, Founder, Teen Stuff and KelmetnaSherief Abd El Maseeh, Founder, SPARKMohamed El Sawy: Ashoka fellow and founder of El Sawy Cultural Wheel Mona El Sayed: Managing Director, World Fair Trade Organization and Managing Director, Fair Trade EgyptMagda Iskandar, Founder, Care with LoveAmr Koura, Founder, ALKARMA EdutainmentAmr Waked, Actor & Co-founder, Zad Communications
Builds on Yahoo! Middle East's Efforts
Yahoo!'s social entrepreneurship campaign with Nahdet El Mahrousa follows its announcement in August 2009 that Yahoo! had acquired Maktoob.com, the leading online community in the Arab world, which has more than 19 million unique users. This acquisition is part of Yahoo!'s larger strategy to grow its business throughout the world's emerging markets by connecting consumers with the content and services that matter most to them in their local language. Internet users benefit from the combination of Yahoo!'s popular products and services with Maktoob's compelling local content, which reaches one in three people online throughout the region. The acquisition extends Yahoo!'s current offerings by adding capabilities to deliver relevant Arabic-language content and services, as well as Arabic versions of Yahoo!'s popular Yahoo! Messenger and Yahoo! Mail services.
 According to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt, December 2009.
 According to Maktoob Research estimates.
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