Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:02

Problem: The world is facing the worst loss of human capital brought on by the global refugee crisis. With 79 million people displaced from their homes by conflict and an average length of displacement of between 20 and 30 years, most refugees and displaced people live in low- and middle-income countries where they face enormous challenges in rebuilding their lives and are often excluded from the labour market of their host countries.

Solution: NaTakallam leverages the digital economy to create income opportunities for accessible tech-enabled refugees, connecting them to language learners worldwide for online language practice, or to clients seeking translation services.

Goals and objectives: Providing those who’ve been forced to flee their homes with income, hope and dignity through modern-day technology.

Implementation: Upon completion of her masters in International Affairs at Columbia University in the summer of 2014, founder Aline Sara was looking for an affordable way to practice Arabic—specifically, her native Lebanese regional dialect—from her base in New York City. At the same period, fleeing the violence from the brutal civil war, millions of Syrians were pouring into Lebanon, where today, roughly 1 out of 4 people are Syrian. This mass migration and its ensuing refugee crisis inspired Aline Sara to develop a service in support of these refugees.

NaTakallam ("we speak" in Arabic) is a social enterprise that connects refugees and displaced people with remote income-earning opportunities related to language and cultural exchange as online language tutors, translators, and cultural exchange instructors, providing them with economic empowerment, purpose, and re-gained dignity.

Established in 2015 with founding team comprised of individuals with extensive experience in economic and political development, conflict resolution, human rights, humanitarian affairs, language learning and journalism, NaTakallam originally offered one-on-one language practice over Skype, specifically for Arabic with Syrian refugees. Consequently, the services have expanded to include: Levantine Arabic (Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese), as well as Egyptian, Iraqi, Yemeni and Sudanese Arabic. Beyond Arabic, it also offers French (with refugees from Congo DRC, Burundi, Guinea), Persian (with Iranians and Afghans) and Spanish (with Venezuelans and Central Americans).

NaTakallam offers three distinct services: individual language learning sessions, translation services, and K-12/University and virtual guest speaker sessions.

The service operates on a commission-based model-the majority of the revenue going to refugees, paid through NGO partners/online payments. Refugees’ performance are based on customer surveys and retention rates. The objective is to provide an income equal to the monthly minimum wage in refugees’ host country.

NaTakallam is currently in the process of launching a fully automated web platform for users and language tutors. This launch will coincide with a new website for initial visitors as well. All core members of the team are multilingual, multinational citizens with a background in and passion for humanitarianism & global intercultural exchange. They also have experiences working with major international organizations across the Middle East, Latin America, North Africa and Sub Saharan Africa. As such, the core element of the business- the livelihood opportunity for refugees and IDPs- is central to the team, and it will remain central from an ethical perspective throughout NaTakallam’s growth.

By prioritizing partnerships, NaTakallam has been successful at forming business relationships with 70 schools and 20 universities including Yale, Columbia, and Georgetown among others, and boast a 70% renewal rate with academic contracts. They have also worked with over 300 K-12 schools and are experiencing steady growth. The company’s eight permanent staff are dispatched around four offices in New York, Paris, Cairo and Beirut, which significantly helps with business acquisition efforts.

Budget: NaTakallam conversation partners (CPs) worldwide earn $10-75 USD per hour depending on the service.

Achievements: Over 8,000 people have engaged in more than 30,000+ hours of NaTakallam sessions and refugees have generated over $800,000USD through their individual language tutoring, guest speaking, translation and classroom work on the platform. NaTakallam has also partnered with over a hundred schools and universities worldwide.

In 2016, NaTakallam was winner of the World Bank Youth Summit ‘Rethinking education for the new millennium’ award and this year, it was selected a top 5 idea among 650+ submissions in the Bridgebuilder Challenge, a collaboration between GHR Foundation and OpenIDEO that recognizes development solutions through open innovation at the intersection of peace, prosperity and the planet.

NaTakallam has also been recognised by the Cartier Women’s Initiative, Enterprise Forum PAN-Arab Region, World Economic Forum, ELLE, Project Entrepreneur of UBS and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

Contact details:

Aline Sara

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Wednesday, 15 July 2020 08:45

Problem: Congestion, reduced economic productivity, and higher greenhouse gas emissions as a consequence of growing volume of cars in small-to-medium sized cities.

Solution: Clean, affordable, and effective methods of transportation that include bicycle, electric bicycle, electric scooter, and car sharing programs.

Goals and objectives: Provide small-to-medium sized cities, with effective, sustainable, and economical transportation options which aims to reduce urban congestion, stimulate economic activity, and improve environmental health.


In Summer 2019 Velvioo launched YerevanRide, a bicycle sharing operation in Yerevan, Armenia.

Velvioo partners with some of the leading hardware and vehicle vendors to provide Yerevan’s citizens the ability to use bicycles for getting from one location to another. The bicycle sharing network promotes accessibility, so bicycles are picked up and dropped off public locations, such as sidewalks which also ensures that GPS services are not interrupted as is the case in primate homes and other locations.

Velvioo also provides an easy sign up process for YerevanRide. Subscribers are able to download the app on the iOS and Android app stores, with an easy registration process that includes a subscribers name, phone number, and email, and selection of a membership plan.

The service is open to anyone 16 years and over without any permits required, and payments for the YerevanRide service can be made by credit card or by cash using any TelCell terminal around Yerevan.

The team at YerevanRide has worked hard to understand how best to provide Yerevan’s residents a form of transportation that can compete as an alternative for cars. First, YerevanRide bicycles have 7 gears, making it easier to ride around Yerevan’s sometimes hilly terrain. Second, it offers electric bicycles to make it really easy to ride around Yerevan’s steep regions. Third, cash payments via TelCell ensures inclusivity for those that don’t have credit cards.

Velvioo actively works with the Yerevan Municipality in helping them build the necessary infrastructure to make riders safer and more comfortable riding bicycles in Yerevan. By sharing usage data with the Municipality, Velvioo promotes evidence based planning in the Municipal infrastructure initiatives, ensuring that bicycle stops and other associated infrastructure are built where they are needed. Velvioo also works with community and other advocacy groups in Yerevan to make more bicycle lanes a reality.

All bicycles need to be secured at the end of a ride. To secure a bicycle, a rider needs to activate the GPS locker on the back of the bicycle by pushing the lever to the lock position and also secure the password locker on the bicycle to a sturdy object, such as a bicycle rack or lamp post. A rider is then requested to scramble the number after locking. The rider can be charged up to 300,000 AMD for any lost or damaged bicycles when negligence is proven.

By working to reduce urban congestion, Velvioo aims to stimulate economic activity, improve environmental health, and enhance tourist experiences. They therefore provide benefit to Armenian cities, residents, and visitors alike.

Budget: Accessibility is an important of all solutions from Velvioo. On YerevanRide, a customer can purchase a 1-day or 3-day passes and monthly or annual plans. A 1-Day Pass costs 1,000 AMD for 24 hours, 3-Day Pass costs 2,000 AMD for 72 hours, Monthly Plans cost 9,000 AMD per month, and Annual Plans cost 49,000 AMD per year. These time bound plans provides unlimited number of 45-minute rides. For example, a monthly plan user can ride from home to work, from work to a restaurant for lunch, and from work to home all for one monthly price – as long as no single ride exceeds 45-minutes. The ride limit ensures that there are enough bicycles for all riders in the network. Rides longer than the ride limit will be charged 300 AMD for every 15-minutes beyond the ride limit.

Achievements: Velvioo currently serves the roughly 400,000 18-35 year old’s residing within Yerevan.

Contact details: Albert Manukyan, Co Founder

Armenia, Yerevan, Margaryan 20/2.

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Phone  +374 94 55-67-02

Monday, 08 June 2020 15:23

Problem: Inadequate and expensive cold-chain infrastructure in Morocco leads to a 30-35% loss of fruit and vegetable crops, depleting income and perpetuating poverty for 75% of rural poor farmers.

Solution: An innovative refrigeration solution that does not rely on traditional compression technology that requires electricity.

Goals and objectives: To provide low-cost electricity-free mobile refrigeration units.  

Implementation: Despite annual production of 6,200,000 metric tons of produce, Morocco has a total refrigeration capacity of only 227,000 tons, of which 27,000 is dedicated to crops. The absence of adequate cold storage capacity significantly impacts horticultural exports - the second largest export segment, representing 15% of gross national product.

Fenik was conceived as a class project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the primary objective of enhancing the accessibility and affordability of refrigeration to positively impact the environment and economic wellbeing of vulnerable rural families in the global South.

Fenik’s refrigerators use an evaporative cooling system, rather than the more energy-intensive vapor compression refrigeration, allowing for less expensive, electricity-free cooling. These basic evaporative cooling devices have proven to be effective for agricultural use, tripling or quadrupling the shelf-life of most farm produce.

By bringing to bear state-of-the art materials and improved design, Fenik has created more effective, durable, easier to use, mass-producible units. Fenik's Yuma 60L Cooler introduces a revolutionary product to the world of refrigeration. The Yuma 60L is a light weight, easy-to-carry, fully portable system that can keep perishables like fruits, vegetables and dairy products fresh in the hot summer months. The Yuma 60L requires no electricity to operate and is 100% eco-friendly with absolutely no greenhouse gas emissions.

Fenik has also developed the PhaseTek™ technology to power the Yuma. This material mimics the way animals naturally cool themselves and becomes activated when a user fills the internal reservoir with any clean source of water (e.g. tap, well, river, lake). The walls of the device then begin to draw out heat from the interior of the device, cooling the internal storage space by 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit from ambient conditions. PhaseTek™ is built into a bladder structure allowing the system to hold and transport water to the evaporative surface where the cooling effect is generated through the latent heat of vaporization.

Features of Fenik’s products include: high-density expanded polystyrene frame; aluminum sheets; specialized synthetic cloth with highly wicking properties and donut-shaped water tank.

The ultimate aim is to sell Fenik’s technology units in bulk to institutional buyers such as government development projects, NGOs, agricultural cooperatives and refugee camps, as well as rural, low-income consumers in Morocco. 

Achievements: Fenik’s technologies have been recognized and supported by organizations and foundations including USAID, National Geographic and The Siemens-Stiftung Foundation.

Budget: Production costs have been set at 15 USD with a sales price of 30 USD.


Contact details: Spencer Taylor

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Monday, 11 May 2020 09:58

Problem: Medication shortages and other access challenges for chronic disease and other patients in Egypt and the Middle East.
Solution: An AI-powered, GPS-enabled digital platform to help chronic patients order, schedule, and refill their recurring medicines in spite of their location or income.

Goals and objectives: To assist patients make scheduled medicine orders in a bid to tackle challenges with accessing medication in a timely fashion.

Implementation: CHEFAA was founded in May 2017 by Doaa Aref, a dgital marketing manager and advertising strategist and her friend Rasha Rady, an assistant lecturer of pediatric hematology at Cairo University. While Ms. Aref was a patient of thyroid cancer, the two friends discovered the challenges Egyptians face in ordering recurring prescriptions for chronic diseases, due to accessibility, inconsistencies in pharmacy stocks and other logistical hurdles. These challenges are further compounded by the fact that legislations governing pharmacy operations in Egypt date back to the 19950’s and 1960’s and therefore not suitable for modern-day services.
As a consequence, the two friends have advanced the digitization of Egypt’s pharmaceutical operations by designing a mobile app that enables patients with chronic diseases to order their prescriptions and have it delivered to their homes every month. CHEFAA allows its customers to order a month-worth of prescriptions in a single order, with a possibility of monthly recurrence. The CHEFAA service also provides monthly reminders for patients to refill their prescriptions and also notifies customers when a certain medicine is running low in the market so the customer could consult their doctors for an alternative.

CHEFAA provides its users with a real-time search engine, which facilitates their ability to make orders, and schedule deliveries with a GPS functionality. It also runs a medicine-dedicated corporate social responsibility platform to match donations with low-income patients.

To place an order, a customer scans his or her prescription using the CHEFAA app, selects their respective location and chooses the preferred method of payment. The order then goes to a nearby CHEFAA pharmacy partner who process the order via their CHEFAA app. If one nearby pharmacy cancels the order, it automatically goes to the next one without having the user to do anything. The delivery of products, as per local regulations, is taken care of by the pharmacies.

Beyond providing prescription services, CHEFAA’s database offers great insights about the entire pharmaceutical market, such as locations of medicine availability and unavailability, places of consumption of certain products, and what the market share of some medicine companies is like.

Even though CHEFAA focuses on recurring orders by patients with chronic diseases and that’s where most of their orders come from, the company also serves single prescription customers to order their medicines.

CHEFAA is a free service for patients, however, the company charges pharmacies a commission fee on transactions and a monthly subscription fee in case of scheduled monthly packages for chronic patients. It also charges monthly subscription fees to medical and pharmaceutical organisations in return for access to market analytics and data.

Achievements: In its first 12 months of operations, CHEFAA fulfilled more than 100,000 orders through over 800+ pharmacies, and generated total sales of more than US$1 million.

CHEFAA is currently operational in nine Egyptian cities and is expanding its services to other Egyptian states and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This innovative enterprise has been recognized by the prestigious Cartier Women’s Initiative.

Contact details:

Doaa Aref, Rasha Rady
Address: 151 Maadi Al Khabiri Al Wasti, Al Maadi, Cairo Governorate 11728, Egypt
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Telephone: +2 01003363656

Sunday, 19 April 2020 14:22

Problem: Prevalence of child obesity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with over a million obese or overweight children. Driving this rise in obesity is the availability and high consumption of fast food and sweetened drinks in school cafeterias. Although the Saudi authorities have introduced measures in recent years on combating obesity and other cardiovascular challenges related to HFSS, lack of coherence in enforcement and compliance has limited its success. Also, socio-economic and cultural factors including an early start of the school day (7 a.m.) hinders the ability of working parents to prepare healthy meals before dropping off their children at schoolkids.

Solution: A social enterprise that provides school children with healthy and delicious food to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the larger Middle East.

Goals and objectives: To combat childhood obesity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries by promoting healthy food and lifestyle, providing children with healthy and nutritious food choices, and creating a community of future healthy eaters.

Implementation: Upon return from Australia where she received a masters and Health Services Management, Rihab Hasanain began researching school options for her two children and quickly identified problems with the school meal programs. She was particularly concerned by the health consequences of the high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) diets provided to children, leading to the doubling of obesity prevalence from 11.3 percent to 24.5 percent in just 14 years.
Responding to the child obesity epidemic in her country, Rihab Hasanain in 2016 started a public-private partnership with local school authorities and developed educational programs that encourage healthy eating habits, and provides school children with healthy, nutritious and delicious meal options. Within six months, Rihad had secured location, hired staff and completed the requisite logistics and regulations needed for starting a food catering business for children.
Blooming Bs is an all-women business with 20 employees originating from all over Saudi Arabia, enriching the tastes and recipes of its healthy menu for children whose parents are unable to prepare healthy meals daily.

Achievements:  In its first year, Blooming Bs served 60,000 meals, and by the second year it had doubled the meals served to 120,000. Blooming Bs is also expanding its school 400 students and another that has more than 1,000,” Rihab says. “We are receiving requests for schools that have more than 2,000 students.

The company began with two employees and now expanded with more than 20 employees. As a women-only business operating during school hours, Blooming Bs provides opportunities to Saudi mothers who otherwise might not be able to work. “We are very convenient for women and mothers,” Rihab says. Employees can start work after they drop their kids at school and finish in time to pick them up. And Blooming Bs doesn’t require any particular education level or experience—just awareness of the issue and a passion for cooking.

Employees come from all corners of Saudi Arabia, bringing different tastes and recipes. This diversity of hiring has helped Blooming Bs create menus with options as varied as the staff’s geographical backgrounds. By providing a unified menu and healthy choices. Blooming Bs reduces food waste by ensuring that its food are attractive to the children it services.


Contact details: Rihab Abdulaziz Hasanain
Address: 7396 Al Yasmein Qurtubah, Riyadh 13244-3123, Saudi Arabia
Phone: +966 55 507 6508
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Sunday, 19 April 2020 14:14

Problem: Perinatal and postpartum depression common with over 20 per cent of expecting and new mothers as they experience with psychological, emotional and mental stress which diminishes their ability to cope with the responsibilities of motherhood.

Solution: A multi-purpose information and service centre for expecting and new mothers in Egypt.

Goals and objectives: To provide an all-inclusive financial, physical, and emotional support service to expecting and recent Egyptian mothers.

Implementation: Rahet Bally – Egypt’s leading mommy services, was created in 2014 by Nadia Gamal El Din, a brand manager at P&G who at a young age of 24 became a mother and was unable to acquire requisite support, community groups or online resources for maternity. Her experience made her aware of the enormous physical, emotional, psychological and mental pressures of pregnancies that often leads to isolation and stress, making the responsibilities of motherhood ever more difficult.

The absence of peer and professional support during maternity inspired Nadia Gamal El Din to ensure that every single mother in Egypt finds comfort during their maternity.

Rahet Bally—which translates to “peace of mind” in Arabic started as a Facebook group bringing together a consortium of professionals, including psychologists, nutritionists, and pediatricians, to answer hash tagged (#) questions on maternity for new and expecting moms. Within a month of its launch, this Facebook group had over 100 professionals and 3,000 moms actively communicating on its platform. Rahet Bally has grown to provide advice and guidance on financial, physical, emotional, and social needs of new motherhood.

The Rahet Bally service also provides a discount card for its members which helps offset the costs of essential baby items such as clothes, diapers, and healthcare, which can be prohibitive. Other services offered include fitness and nutrition programs in three Cairo-based facilities.

Its business philosophy revolves around taking care of mothers. In its new location, called Cloud, Rahet Bally has provides nutrition, fitness and spa services including napping pods, meeting and workshop rooms, as well as book clubs while experienced babysitters take care of their little ones.

Rahet Bally is currently expanding its operations beyond Egypt, through its recent acquisition of Ana 7amel platform, the largest portal for pregnant women in the Middle East that allows it to reach pregnant mothers across income brackets.

Achievements: Rahet Bally currently services over 150,000 women and employs an all-female staff. The company is also mother-friendly, providing flexible working conditions including maternity leave, ensuring mothers have a right to a decent job with a market-competitive salary.

Rahet Bally has been awarded the “She Means Business Award” by Facebook, in recognition of their success in transforming a virtual community into a thriving enterprise. Rahet Bally was also recognised as the number 1 Egyptian community on Facebook, and its founder Nadia Gamal El Din has been ranked as one of the top 50 influential women in Egypt as well as one of the top 3 inspiring women in Egypt by Dove. Nadia is also a brand ambassador to several brands in Egypt.

Contact details: Nadia Gamal El Din
Address: 10 Hassan Othman St., El Sefarat District, Nasr City, Cairo
Phone: +201028825555
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Thursday, 26 March 2020 13:39

Problem: Remote rural communities lack access to energy, clean water and are isolated from the mainstream cash-based economy. 

Solution: Up Trade (Goats for Water) is a solution providing solar powered water pumps through a barter exchange for goats, rather than money in order to ease the economic marginalization of remote communities in Pakistan.

Goals and objectives: To enable smallholder rural farming communities access off-grid electricity and clean water to meet their farming and household, bringing about economic and social prosperity to the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society, improving the quality of life for women and girls through easy access to clean water, energy, and farming inputs.

Implementation: UpTrade was created in 2016 by Fariel Salahuddin, a former power sector consultant with extensive experience in energy policy, finance and project management for the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. During her assignment, Ms. Salahuddin visited numerous communities to establish a firsthand understanding of off-grid electricity communities. Ms. Salahuddin discovered that these communities supplement their incomes by raising livestock but faced severe challenges due to scarcity of electricity and access to water for human consumption and livestock.

By reviewing the Benazir Income Support Programme (an unconditional poverty reduction cash transfer program) data, the team at UpTrade discovered that the poorest in these remote communities owned a considerable proportion of goats/sheep, which provided an entry point to develop a poverty reduction program targeting the poorest communities by impacting small animal farming households.

UpTrade provides small-holder farming communities water and electricity access through the use of solar powered water pumps. This creates an alternate cash-less, livestock indexed system, by-passing the cash-based system, enabling local communities to use their livestock as currency, using a digital platform, E-Mandi, to facilitate that exchange. This electronic livestock market platform provides an innovative solution to small-holder livestock farmers and low income households looking for direct access to markets and alternative financing mechanisms.

Through the Goats for Water initiative, the water stressed rural communities leverage their assets and unlock the non-cash liquidity of their livestock to purchase solar water pumps using their livestock as currency. UpTrade’s technical team and product partners design, install and maintain solar based pumping solutions based on the specific water requirements of each community, hydraulic profile of the area and the communities financial capacity.

Access to energy is also a significant challenge for the communities in rural Pakistan. Hence, another initiative, Goats for Solar provides a similar barter financing solution to off-grid rural communities, enabling them to trade their livestock for access to solar energy products and solar micro-grids. UpTrade’s Goats for Solar model grants them access to clean, renewable energy systems and products such as solar lighting, fans, televisions, radios and charging stations for mobile phones.

UpTrades online platform also provides a mechanism for the sale of village assets (goats) as well as an innovative medium for the purchase of goats for the Islamic holiday EID and other religious duties such as Sadqa and Zakat.


UpTrade has provided a faster and more efficient way for women to collect water, allowing free time to focus on education, practicing local handicrafts and other household chores. UpTrade has led to 1,460 hours of labour saved per woman per year, impacting 8,500 women and girls.

The program has allowed for 2,830 families to have access to clean water and energy which greatly improves health and hygiene for all households in impacted villages.

Contact details:

Address: Karachi, Pakistan

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Monday, 03 February 2020 11:46

Problem: Lebanon faces a national waste management crisis as a result of political influence, population growth, lack of transparency in regulations, and an inconsistent enforcement of laws, which ultimately leads to severe health and environmental impacts.

Solution: Repurposing of organic waste into valuable resources, providing waste management products and services for households, restaurants, academic institutions, commercial establishments, municipalities, non-profit organizations, farms and others.

Goals and objectives: To promote the sound management of organic waste through our low tech and low cost approach that tailors solutions to local economic, social and environmental conditions.

Implementation: Compost Baladi SAL is a Lebanese social enterprise founded in early 2017 by Antoine Abou-Moussa and Marc Aoun in partnership with Fondation Diane; following the national waste management crisis that occurred.

The enterprise comprises of a team of local and international experts who hold extensive experience in public policy consulting, waste and natural resource management, manufacturing and managing environmental development projects.

Compost Baladi provides products and services that promote the local recycling of any bio-waste, anywhere, into a bioresource. Our lines of services include but are not restricted to: the design and operation of municipal composting facilities; consulting and monitoring for municipal composting sites tree trimming and yard waste disposal services; national and regional waste management assessment and feasibility studies and advocacy events at academic institutions, and exhibitions. So far, we have been able to raise awareness on agricultural topics, organic waste management, composting and sorting at source via workshops, vocational trainings and awareness sessions to more than 150,000 people in Lebanon. Our target beneficiaries have been citizens of all ages: residents, schools, universities, municipalities staff, ministries staff and vulnerable communities.

The company has acquired several compost systems for different scales of operation to process organic residuals. They employ Passively Aerated Static Pile (PASP) system, Aerated Static Pile (ASP) to manage very large volumes of materials, and a containerized composting works by modifying shipping container into aerated static pile systems.

Compost Baladi is also a distributor of numerous organic waste management equipment, including wood chippers/shredders and compost thermometers. In addition, they locally manufacture composting bins that facilitate the composting process and empower users to take action whether they live in an urban or rural area. Among our best-seller manufactured units is the Earth Cube composter which empowers users to overcome the space and manual work limitations of composting and manage their organic waste in place.

Achievements: Compost Baladi’s work extends over all Lebanon. We have raised awareness on sorting at source and organic waste management to more than 150,000 people over all Lebanon. Compost Baladi has developed instructional manuals and guidelines for municipal waste management facility operators and technicians. At a municipal level, its service has allowed a minimum of 75% waste material recovery and cuts on 30 to 50% of operational cost. On a farm level, we were able to shift their agricultural practices into an integrated approach and cut on 50% of fertilization. At last, Compost Baladi is a multi-award winning company, among which it received the Green Entrepreneurship Startup Award of the year 2019. We were also nominated at the Middle East Waste and Recycling (MEWAR) Awards 2019.

Contact details:

Address: Sin el Fil – Lebanon, P.O.Box: 55-532

Telephone: +961 1 490 080

Mobile: +961 76 015 280

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Monday, 03 February 2020 11:41

Problem: The International Diabetes Federation finds a growing risk of diabetes in the Middle East and North Africa. Diabetes affects 15% of the entire Egyptian population with 15 million diabetic patients, pre-diabetics, and at-risk individuals who face significant danger of diabetic vision loss.

Solution: Egypt’s first specialized diabetic eye care Centre, as well as its first paper-free healthcare provider, offering digital retina screening, advanced retinal imaging and treatment by highly trained ophthalmologists and paramedics.

Goals and objectives: To effectively preserve the vision of diabetic patients through personalized quality care, state of the art technology and highly trained staff for patients in the Middle East and North Africa.

Implementation: Almouneer Medical Services was launched in 2014 by Dr. Noha Khater, an entrepreneur, professor of Ophthalmology and vitreoretinal consultant at Cairo University and Egypt’s sole female eye surgeon specialized in retinal surgery. Dr. Khater and her IT consultant partner Dr. Rania Kadry sought to introduce a fully digital healthcare system that could track the medical data records of diabetic patients, with the aim of implementing a nationwide diabetic eye care service.

By integrating its IT systems with other healthcare centres, Almouneer was able to provide a fully digitized process including a referring and appointment scheduling app. Since its inception, the eye centre has gone on to become one of the most advanced in Cairo and has doubled its workforce, having recently opened three additional branches.

Almouneer provides a one-stop shop for diabetic and non-diabetic eye treatments. It provides a wide range of ocular services such as digital retina screening, advanced retinal imaging and pattern laser treatments. The eye centre also provides intravitreal treatment which when administered properly and as scheduled, reduces retinal changes (e.g. retinal edema and bleeding) that occur in a diabetic patient and that can lead to blindness.

Dr. Khater’s insists that human and social factors are critical in diabetic healthcare. She advocates education and prevention, advising her patients to effect behavioural changes as a means of managing their diabetic condition. She has established an NGO to advocate for the improvement of the quality of life for diabetics by raising awareness, providing free healthcare and funding diabetes research.

Achievements: Almouneer has served over 20,000 patients who originate from Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Ghana through its three centers in and around Cairo. It has also recently launched its research activities hoping to establish the first diabetic eye research center in the Middle East and Africa. Its founder has been recognised by the Cartier Women Initiative , British Embassy Cairo and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Contact details: Saridar Medical Tower - 92 El Tahrir St. Dokki – Giza Fourth Floor.

Phone: +202 37624276

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Problem: Social norms hinders professional opportunities for female engineers in Saudi Arabia and Jordan despite a booming market for qualified engineers.

Solution: An enterprise that promotes opportunities for female engineers by consolidating non-core engineering services in a remote platform.

Goals and objectives: To provide engineering support services for firms operating in the Middle East and North Africa region via a-remote platform.

Implementation: was established by Nermin Saad, a trained Jordanian engineer living in Saudi Arabia where her husband worked as a construction engineer, in 2011. Despite Nermin’s qualifications, existing social norms prevented co-mixing between men and women in the workplace thereby hindering her from working in the male dominated construction industry.

Nevertheless for a decade, Nermin successfully supported her husband’s work by providing non-core engineering tasks, such as AutoCAD drawings, calculations, technical translations, or bills of quantities that were prerequisites in every project but could be performed remotely.

Returning to Jordan with her husband, Nermin came to realize that 75 percent of her female engineer friends were unemployed due to the limitations as a consequence of the social norms. Nermin then decided to replicate her experience supporting her husband in Saudi Arabia to develop, a remote online platform to outsource non-core engineering functions, giving an opportunity to many female engineers to put into use their trainings and earn money for their families. This enterprise capitalizes on the recent trend of outsourcing engineering support services and has built a customized online platform that allows its engineering consultants to provide professional services from the comfort of their homes and boardrooms.

Nermin recognized the immense growth and potential of the construction industry, where close to half a trillion US dollars of projects are currently being implemented in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia alone. platform provided a circumvent on cultural limitations, and when physical meetings are needed, a partnership with an all-male engineering company provided the needed interface. Renumeration for Handasiyat’s engineering consultants are made on a simple commission basis for each job contracted. offers professional construction solutions in the rapidly developing and demanding construction industry of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan & other countries with the region. The company provides for mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP) design, technical translations, cadding, producing bill of quantities (BOQ's), prototyping, and other engineering support services.

Achievements: has participated in many construction projects on buildings such as, Hotel, Farm, Mall, School, Commercial Building, Villa, Residential Building, Engineering Specifications Translation, and Sculpture. The business has also provided employment opportunities for about 200 engineers, both female and men and the accomplishments of its founder has been recognized by the 2012 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.

Contact details: Al Tarawneh St 70, IPARK, Amman, Jordan

Phone: +962 777855883 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Monday, 03 February 2020 10:18

Problem: Researches depict that during the precipitation, billions of gallons of rainwater occur over the world, which has huge potential if utilized in the right way. Based on our investigation, approximately 1.5 billion people live in rainy countries, where 33 million of those individuals reside in rural areas in which they have no or very limited access to electricity. Considering that the price of general electricity is 25 euro cent per KWH and 5 euro cents per KWH for solar energy in rainy countries, we create a more affordable and sustainable solution for them.

Solution: The Rainergy is designed to produce electricity from the rain to solve the problem of energy deficiency in rainy and low-income countries. It collects rainwater and transfers its rich potential energy into electricity through the motion created by the wheel. Eventually, electricity is stored in batteries for further implementation. We offer Rainergy product to low-income rural households, who live in remote regions of rainy countries, to have easy access to energy for their daily needs at affordable price. Our device consists of 4 major parts. Rain collector fills the water tank with rainwater which then goes through the electricity generator at high speed and generates the electricity through the motion created by the wheel. Generators work consists of receiving electrical current from the fixed magnetic field formed by the magnetic contour mounted on the base of neodymium, iron, and boron. Then the electricity is stored in the gel battery for further implementation.

Goals and objectives: The main purpose of Rainergy is to increase access to energy for people living in remote regions of rainy countries. The next goal is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air relative to other energy sources. It should be noted that only 10 g of carbon dioxide gas is emitted during Rainergy's creation, which is very small compared to other sources since one of the most common energy sources, Thermal power plants, which uses coal and gas, emits between 350-1100 g CO2 per KWH generated.

Implementation: Rainergy was founded in April 2017 during the ClimatelaunchPad pre-accelerator program, where we worked on the project and built its first 2 prototypes with the help of our mentors. The prototype lightened up only 3 LED lamps, while the second one lightened up 22 LED lamps. After the ClimatelaunchPad program, the Alternative Agency of Azerbaijan assisted us to build the third prototype, which gave us 120 watts of power if the rotor's rotation speed was 180 cycles per minute. Indicators of the 3rd prototype :

• Power: 120 W

• Tension: 12 V

• Electric current: 10A

• Rotor’s rotation speed: 180 cycles / min

Currently, the project is supported by the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Development Bank, and The Global Good Fellowship Program.

Now with the third working version of the Rainergy generator and the 100,000$ amount seed funding stage behind, the next step is to build the 4th prototype and test it in a rainy country like Singapore.

Achievements: The project revenue model has been proven in local and global markets, such as a sustainable and up-to-date business model. The idea itself led Jamalova to earn a place in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List in 2018 and BBC’s 100 Women list in 2018 as the first Azerbaijani to make the lists. Rainergy also made it to the final rounds of the competition at ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest green business idea competition, Intel ISEF 2019, and Tomorrow of Scientists competition, where it won the first place. Rainergy was first represented globally at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and caused great interest, thus even attracting the attention of Ivanka Trump.

Rainergy then became one of the 32 winners out of the 1576 projects worldwide under the Transform Fund Competition held by the Islamic Development Bank for the first time in 2018. Rainergy also became one of the 25 supporting startups by The Global Good Fund Fellowship Program out of 2600 applicants worldwide in 2020.

Rainergy has been published on several media news including Forbes, UN, Le Figaro, and La Nacion as an affordable, green, and sustainable project.

Budget: Islamic Development Bank and The Global Good Fund Fellowship Program provide the total initial seed in the amount of 100,000$, with former processing 90,000$ and latter providing 10,000$.

Contact details:

Address: Baku, Azerbaijan

Phone: +994 77 460 1364

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Problem: Despite rising demand for computer programmers, the Kingdom of Jordan lacks effective mechanisms that bridges the gap between technology and education for children.

Solution: A curriculum and an online learning platform that teaches computer programming to children and adolescents between the ages of 4 to 14.

Goals and objectives: To inspire and develop children’s skills through learning computer programming, which will build a strong base for future innovators, spur ideas, development solutions, entrepreneurs, and employment opportunities.

Implementation: Inspired by the personal experiences of its founder and CEO Hanan Khader, whom at an early age of 10 was captivated by the transformative potential of computer programming in translating her youthful thoughts into functioning projects.

Decades later, Hanan had grown to become a very skilled programmer and renowned tech expert but was taken aback by the limited computer education her own children were learning at school, which led her to wonder “why aren’t children being taught skills that can help shape their future?”. Upon further investigation, Hanan discovered that the existing computer pprogramming languages were unsuitable for children as they were too advanced for kids to learn effectively (e.g. Python, JavaScript) while the simple programming languages created for kids are very basic and limited. She also identified the gap in skills set of school teaches usually caused by market forces where the experienced and qualified programmers are working in the private sector while school teachers were left with outdated technology and limited experience.

With rising demand for programmers, Hanan embarked on a journey to capture new concepts in technology and apply a cutting-edge learning methodology, creating a collaborative environment that evolves into a large community of little innovators equipped with tools for programming, problem solving and analytical skills. In 2015 Hanan established the first educational organization specialized in teaching Computer & Mobile Programming for children between the ages of 6 to 12 named Hello World Kids.

By focusing on five essential aptitudes: computational; logical; analytical; critical and creative thinking, Hello World Kids teaches kids coding in a simple straightforward way, kids also engage in open discussions and learn the proper etiquette and manners during the process. Exciting, thrilling exercises and activities encourage the children and stimulate their creativity. Kids essentially advance in the technological field in a safe and proper manner.

HelloWorldKids has further developed an online personalized learning platform called HelloCode, that teaches programming through a storytelling approach and cartoonish episodes, aligning programming with international educational standards using an innovative methodological approach. HelloCode enable schools and parents to subscribe online, and get access to the digital interactive curriculum, including exercises and collaborations. Every lesson is available in web and mobile formats, to allow students to watch lessons, practice programming, and create their own little programs.

Achievements: Hello World Kids has been recognized as a valuable resource and methodology to teach simplified computer programming for kids. Over 5,000 children in Jordan and Lebanon have acquired programming skills through the curriculum and its integration from 2017 in partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Education as a core subject in over 70 schools across Jordan has enabled over 36,000 children to enroll in programming lessons and propelled Hello World Kids success.

Hello World Kids has founded the annual National Little Programmer contest - first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa that brings together students from schools that adopted the Hello World

Kids curriculum to compete in programming events in order to motivate and build awareness to the importance of programming.

Hanan Khader has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and Cultural Affairs as a Leader in Technology at TechWomen organization and has represented Jordan in many tech events in Silicon Valley.

Contact details:

Phone: +962 79 9951632

Address: King Hussein Business Park Building No. 23 Floor – 1, Amman , Jordan

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