February 20, 2016, Beirut, Lebanon: As part of its commitment to prepare and inspire youth for a successful future, INJAZ Lebanon, a non-profit organization and affiliate of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, completed its second ‘Innovation Camp’ (iCAMP) with the support of Citi Foundation and in partnership with Berytech, a leading organization in the Entrepreneurial Eco-system in Lebanon, on Saturday February 20th, 2016. The action-packed event includes a full-day workshop that focuses on creativity, teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and presentation skills by challenging students to find innovative solutions and create concepts that address a real business challenge.
Mr. Michel Sawaya, Citi’s Acting CEO for Lebanon, said: “We are proud to support INJAZ Lebanon with activating and delivering various initiatives and programs, to equip Lebanon’s youth with the skills and tools to become future business leaders and entrepreneurs. The workshops are proving to be a great success as we witnessed the students’ incredible creativity, innovation, and problem solving skills. We see a great future ahead for these young entrepreneurs, and we look forward to witnessing them realize their full business potential.”
The second Innovation Camp, which took place at Berytech Technology Pole in Mkalles, welcomed 54 university students from five universities across Lebanon including the American University of Beirut (AUB), American University of Culture and Education (AUCE), American University of Science and Technology (AUST), Lebanese American University- Adnan Kassar Business School (LAU) and Lebanese University – Institute of fine arts (Branch 2). Students were organized into 7 teams, and were presented a business challenge developed by Berytech which required them to come up with a community space concept that would attract young entrepreneurs and university students to work and socialize together to create potential startup projects.
With the support and guidance from a volunteer mentor from Berytech, each team developed a feasible business plan and presented to a panel of judges including Mr. Rami Boujawdeh, Deputy General Manager, Berytech, Ms. Asmahan El Zein, Partner and GM, Infofort and CSR Representative, Aramex Lebanon, and Mr. Fadi Mikati, Co-Founder and President, Tripoli Entrepreneurs Club.
The winning team was “Beirut Music Arts Incubator” which is a futuristic artistic hub to be located inside the Beirut Dome that shall be renovated with state-of-the-art contemporary design. The project targets artists, musicians and designers who will be able to network, create their start-ups, rent equipment and office space, run concerts and events, and receive trainings from local and foreign artists. The winning team will receive a two-hour coaching session offered by Berytech.
The second runner up was “Rise Up Business Facility” that targets women entrepreneurs and gives them all the facilities needed to support each other and run their own startups. The team was offered complimentary training sessions by the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB). And finally in third place, was “Start-Up hub for Engineers” which is a space created specifically for engineers to startup their own businesses.
Commenting on the second Innovation Camp, Mr. Rami Boujawdeh, Deputy GM, Berytech, said: “Berytech has been playing a key role in nurturing the entrepreneurial culture and innovative spirit in Lebanon. We are very happy to join our hands with INJAZ Lebanon bringing both of our networks and expertise to challenge youth and inspire them to pursue entrepreneurship as a career option.”
Fayza Saad Mehanna, Executive Director, INJAZ Lebanon commented, “Innovation Camp is an action-packed program that triggers creativity, teamwork, and problem solving skills introducing students to what it takes to be an entrepreneur and encouraging them to follow that path. We extend our gratitude to Citi Foundation for their ongoing support on this program. We also thank Berytech for adopting and hosting this second iCAMP this year, developing a very exciting business challenge and providing the mentors to support the students.”
Innovation Camp is a series of five workshops that will target a total of 400 school and university students during the 2015/16 academic year, with the financial support of Citi Foundation, Citi’s social investment arm. Several organizations and companies will also be partnering with INJAZ Lebanon on this program providing mentors to support youth and the business challenge
With the completion of the inaugural workshop held with the support of Citibank Lebanon, and the second workshop with the support from Berytech, Innovation Camp is set to run again in March, April and May 2016 to reach additional students from schools and universities across Beirut, Mount Lebanon and Tripoli. Each camp will be adopted by a different company or organization, including Bank Audi and Tripoli Entrepreneurs Club, which will provide mentors and a business challenge for the participating students, with Citi Foundation remaining the main sponsor for the 2015/16 academic year.
About INJAZ Al-Arab & JA Worldwide
Operating in 14 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, INJAZ Al-Arab is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to overcoming unemployment in the region and aims to inspire a culture of entrepreneurship and business innovation among Arab youth.
Partnering with leading companies in the private sector, INJAZ Al-Arab equips Arab youth to drive the economies of the Arab World forward through training designed to inspire them to develop ambition, entrepreneurship and professional skills.
Named one of the top 100 NGOs in the world by Global Journal, INJAZ Al-Arab has influenced the lives of over 2 million students since its inception in 2004. INJAZ Al-Arab is a member of JA Worldwide; the world’s largest and fastest-growing youth business organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.
About INJAZ Lebanon:
INJAZ Lebanon, a non-profit organization, is a member of INJAZ Al-Arab (www.injazalarab.org) and an affiliate of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide (www.jaworldwide.org), the world’s largest and fastest growing youth business organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through hands-on training programs.
INJAZ Lebanon is a partnership between the business community and educators all working together to equip youth with the skills and mindset they need to become the entrepreneurs and business leaders stimulating their communities. Since its inception in 2001, over 60,000 youth aged 10 to 24 years old have participated in INJAZ Lebanon programs thanks to the support of 2,500 professionals from local and international corporations in Lebanon. For more information, please visit (www.injaz-lebanon.org).
About Citi: Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi
About Citi Foundation: The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.
Berytech is a leading organization in the Entrepreneurial Eco-system in Lebanon, having 3 Business Development & Innovation Centers, 3 Funds and Several Support Programs. Berytech supports innovative entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs to start or grow their businesses providing a vibrant environment through incubation, business support, counseling, funding, networking, access to markets and company hosting, hence taking part in the economic revival of the country, participating in wealth and job creation, and retaining graduates and hi-level skills in Lebanon.
Throughout the years, it has created a powerful impact in the Lebanese economy and championed best practice with a continuous growth strategy. Visit www.berytech.org for more details. Berytech would like to thank members of its community Zahy Rabahieh of Klever and Patrick Kass-Hanna from Emagine for volunteering to mentor on this project.