The Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) program,
which launched its first round in 2008, has supported 40 civil
society leaders, serving over 200 people in marginalized
communities in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the UAE and
AWSI offers social activists financial and planning support, helping them to transform high-potential projects into companies or NGOs, with the aim to serve the local community more effectively.
Each social innovator who is selected by the program will get the chance to attend workshops and training events, connect with other innovators working in similar fields, and communicate with Synergos network members, including business leaders and activists. The winners chosen during this round will also receive a financial prize of $12,500 annually for two years.
Throughout its two previous rounds, AWSI made a positive impact on its targeted communities. In Jordan, the program trained over 420 Jordanian women working in the children’s storytelling field, and helped to establish 80 libraries offering their services to more than 4,000 child. In Palestine, the program helped a school for visually-impaired children to double its capacity to fit more than 300 children. In Egypt, the program supports an organization targeting garbage collectors by offering them professional training to help them find better job opportunities.
“The relations and connections that Synergos provides have helped entrepreneurs attract additional funding of over $3.2 billion for their projects,” says George Khalaf, Director of Synergos Institute in the Middle East and North Africa. “It also inspired our program to make new coalitions, which helped to spread the models of those successful entrepreneurs to new communities.”
During this round, those who graduated from the past rounds will provide support and mentorship and participate by electing the winners.
“Each year we understand more what we participate in, and we benefit from the lessons we learned in the previous rounds. We are also planning to encourage the program’s sponsors to dedicate more time supporting social entrepreneurs in the region,” says Khalaf.
Those interested in the program can apply for the third round by visiting AWSI’s website. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2013.