Tatawwar programme continues to empower young entrepreneurs in MENA for fourth year
Mita Srinivasan
10x Industry

Tatawwar programme continues to empower young entrepreneurs in MENA for fourth year

HSBC and Potential.com program has empowered more than 10,000 students from over 2,800 schools across the Middle East and North Africa in past three year in the blended learning experience through online and mobile-first strategy, making it accessible to students anywhere and focusing on UN SDGs.

HSBC and Potential.com have launched the fourth edition of their future skills flagship programme, Tatawwar, for students across the UAE, Egypt, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Algeria. It is an interactive online and face-to-face programme that brings together students (aged 15 to 18), schools, parents, and the business community to innovate for a sustainable future by addressing the three United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - Health and Well-being, Clean Water and Sanitation and Climate Action.

The past three editions of the programme have seen more than 10,000 students from over 2,800 schools across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) register for the blended learning experience. Having an online and mobile-first strategy, helps Tatawwar reach remote parts of the region, making it accessible to all the students. So far, 12 winners and 50 student ambassadors have graduated from the programme after undergoing extensive mentorship and further development on social entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and future job skills.

The programme enjoys the support of the Ministries of Education in UAE, Qatar and Bahrain as well as the Ministries of Youth in Oman and Bahrain. The program has won 3 international awards this year.

Fady Allaham, Educational Consultant in the Office of The Assistant Undersecretary For Educational Affairs - Academic and Career Counselling Department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar was the judge at one of the earlier cohorts. He said, “HSBC and Potential are giving these students the opportunity to show their creativity and share their projects and ideas with everyone where they shared some very personal reasons for their projects. It was amazing thing to see the focus on on helping other people and preserving nature.”

The progress of previous rollout winners has been outstanding. One of the winners of the first edition, Samah Abdulla from Egypt, has already raised capital through crowdfunding. She launched her Water Management and Saving mobile application in both English and Arabic languages and been selected for several incubation programmes.

Rishabh Java from the United Arab Emirates, another winner, has grown his start-up ‘Broccoli Brains’, a gamified treatment of ADHD, employing a team of 8 who are now building a productivity tracking application that uses EEG integrated headphones to track your focus and alert you when to take a break. Rishabh has also built another start-up named Tangled, a global peer-learning community that is redefining skill building with gamification.

Bahraini finalist, Omaima Mosharaf, a previous finalist, has founded YouthWave MENA, a youth-led sustainable innovation hub and experience playground for young start-up founders.

Students, schools, parents, NGOs, and any other partners who would also like to participate in empowering the next generation of social innovators can now register for the programme. The finals for this cohort will be hosted at Expo 2020 where some of the winning projects will be showcased.