Entrepreneurship in Zarqa

Fikra and Al-Tareeq (The Path) conduct a 10-day Entrepreneurship workshop with Syrian refugees in Zarqa, Jordan.

From May 29th to June 9th, Fikra 3al Mashi is partnering with Al-Tareeq, a nonprofit started by two Babson University students, and the International Medical Corps in Zarqa, Jordan, to conduct an Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Problem-Solving workshop with 21 urban Syrian refugee students aged 13-18.

Today marked the completion of lesson 3, where students started developing a rudimentary business plan for the ideas they have been working on for the last couple of days. Students started by observing their communities, and identifying problems that needed to be solved. They then chose one problem, and in small teams, brainstormed potential solutions, and assessed the skills and resources required to solve such problems in an entrepreneurial fashion. Examples range from solving the problem of speeding and drag racing, pollution and littering in local parks and neighbourhoods, and illiteracy among school-age children, to establishing the first Parkour center in Jordan, and opening a franchise of translated Manga and Anime book stores.

Today, they put all of that on paper, and began looking at the problem-solving process from a business standpoint, trying to figure out how they could incentivize and market a solution to community members. To read more, you can check what Al-Tareeq wrote about it here.

Next week, they will be developing their own business ideas, researching their solutions, devising a business plan, and pitching the final idea to us. Fikra and Al-Tareeq will try to take the best ideas to the next stage, and procure funding to let it happen.

This marks the beginning of what we hope will be a prolific partnership in order to tap into the entrepreneurial potential of Syrian students around Jordan, and, pursuant to Fikra's mission, to enable students to learn, grow, and act independently and autonomously, unshackled from their precarious situations.

The next, and most challenging step, is to make such an initiative sustainable, with a lasting impact. We hope to reach out to more students, and stay in touch with them via a blog on the Al-Tareeq website. Fikra also hopes to begin establishing computer labs around the country to connect more Syrian students, and unleash their entrepreneurial creativity.

Stay tuned for more!