Promoting a culture of entrepreneurship to find innovative technology solutions for refugee challenges
The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) for the Pan Arab announced the launch of the second edition of Innovate for Refugees.
The MIT Enterprise Forum inaugurated the registration process of the competition on the 21st of August to extend till the 27th of November, 2017, after which the submission process will close, and the committees will begin to evaluate the applications. The finalists will then be announced in December, 2017 and will undergo various training. The winners will announced during the final event ceremony which will be held on January 27 and 28 in Amman, Jordan.
The Innovate for Refugees Competition launched last year in its first edition on the occasion of World Refugee Day. Its ultimate aim remains to find innovative, long-term solutions that address the challenges faced by refugees relating to healthcare, food, housing, education and others, while drawing on the latest innovations and developments in the world of technology. The competition is in line with MIT Enterprise Forum’s role in empowering entrepreneurs to develop effective and futuristic solutions that can address societal challenges, with the active participation of the refugees themselves.
The MIT Enterprise Forum will also organize refugee trainings in conjunction with the competition. The courses are scheduled to take place in Lebanon and Jordan. They will focus on training participants on Design Thinking, a methodology that puts creative abilities to work in order to address real human challenges by treating them as opportunities. The aim of these trainings is to help refugees come up with ideas and solutions to problems that they face, form teams and participate in the competition. It should be noted that more than 15% of the participants in the first edition of the competition were refugees, and this year’s edition hopes to increase this percentage with these training courses.
Commenting on the second edition of this competition, Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab said, “The great success of the competition last year was a key incentive for us to move forward, especially since this initiative contributes to the creation of innovative solutions that address the challenges faced by refugees. These projects are created by entrepreneurs from around the world, and more importantly, from the refugee community itself. There is a high percentage of educated youth among the refugees which has been reinforced by the spread of technology and smartphones in the camps. We would like nothing more this year than to increase the number of refugee participants in this competition. We will provide training courses to help them adopt a modern and scientific methodology which will in turn assist them in coming up with innovative ideas, delivered in the correct format. All of this will hopefully translate into practical projects that can contribute to meeting the challenges and crises in refugee communities.”
Cash prizes, exceeding $100,000, will be allocated for ten winners.
MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab is accepting applications for the second edition of Innovate for Refugees until November 27th, 2017. To apply please visit: innovateforrefugees.org
About MITEF Pan Arab: Founded in 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region (http://www.mitefarab.org) is one of the 28 worldwide chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum Global, an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. The MIT Enterprise Forum- Pan Arab has a proven record in promoting MIT-style entrepreneurship by organizing each year the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition targeting 21 countries of the Arab region and attracting over 12,000 entrepreneurs a year.