Posted on October 05, 2015

INJAZ Al-Arab, a member of JA Worldwide, and Citi Foundation, Citi’s social investment arm, announced today 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. Targeting a total of 9,620 Arab youth, the two programs seek to improve youth’s entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and soft skills, in an effort to positively impacting 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.

Akef Al-Aqrabawi, CEO of INJAZ Al-Arab, said: “We look forward to starting the new school year with yet another exciting partnership with Citi Foundation. This partnership embodies both organizations’ on-going commitment towards influencing a generation of entrepreneurs and business-minded youth, driven by a willingness to positively contribute to economic prosperity and stability. At INJAZ Al-Arab, we recognize that education is the key ingredient in combating unemployment and building a knowledge-based economy.”

The INJAZ Al-Arab Company Program fosters students’ entrepreneurial mindsets by allowing them to organize and operate actual businesses. As a result, 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 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 and self-motivation, critical mindsets in both the job search and entrepreneurial process in the Arab World. Commenting on the partnership, Atiq Rehman, Citi’s CEO for Middle East and Africa, said: “We are confident that our partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab will continue to achieve our collective goal of equipping Arab youth with leadership, employability, and entrepreneurial skills that are crucial for their success in the future as well as contributing to job creation in the MENA region.”

With this renewed commitment, Company Program will be expected to reach 410 students in Morocco, 310 students in Kuwait, and 280 students in the United Arab Emirates by mid 2016. Additionally, Innovation Camps will reach 6,000 students in Egypt, 1,200 students in Algeria, 600 students in Bahrain, 420 students in Qatar and 400 students in Lebanon. As a step further towards nurturing entrepreneurship, Citi Foundation’s grant will also fund an award to be presented at INJAZ Al-Arab’s “Regional Young Entrepreneurs Competition”. This year, the event will be held on 24/25 November 2015 in Oman and the Citi Foundation funded award will recognize one INJAZ team for providing the most exceptional customer service model.

Since the commencement of their partnership nearly three decades ago, Citi Foundation remains JA Worldwide’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.

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