Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TechWadi - Global Entrepreneurship Forum in Lebanon

Dear participants, partners and friends of the Forum:

TechWadi is organizing the first-ever Global Entrepreneurship Forum in Beirut, Lebanon - on June 23 2010.

The goal of the conference is to build the necessary bridges between business leaders in the US and the MENA region, acting as platform for cross-border partnerships to accelerate the development of entrepreneurship and innovation. This event will be a unique opportunity to connect with business and social leaders most dedicated to the cause of entrepreneurship in our region.

The US government and President Obama have shown great initiative in promoting global entrepreneurship, and as a result TechWadi's conference will also be the highlight of a trip to the Middle East by a delegation of US business leaders led by the State Department, including prominent investors, entrepreneurs, and executives.

Please sign up as early as you can - seats are filling up fast.

Click HERE to register.

For more information and the conference agenda: http://www.techwadi.org/

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Secretary Clinton Gives the Forum a Shout-Out!

In her Town Hall at Dar Al Hekma College, Secretary Clinton recognized the work of the US-Saudi Women's Forum on Social Entrepreneurship:

“… some of you recently participated in the U.S.-Saudi Women’s Forum on social entrepreneurship, the result of a partnership that brought this college together with my alma mater, Wellesley College, and Babson College. The result is a program that has given 100 young Saudi women training in business and leadership, and the tools to begin your own enterprises in your communities. And this is just one example of the kind of forward thinking and effective ways that women around the world can join together through such educational exchanges and opportunities to look for ways to make contributions in our own communities.”

Secretary Clinton also recognized that 4 Dar Al Hekma students were chosen for the upcoming Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship -- 3 of whom are participants of the US-Saudi Women's Forum on Social Entrepreneurship!

The management team here at ICF International would like to thank everyone who has supported this program - especially our incredible partners: Dar Al Hekma College, Babson College, and The Wellesley Centers for Women.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Secretary Hillary Clinton visits students at Dar Al Hekma College

On Tuesday, February 16th 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to young women at a "town hall" hosted at Dar Al Hekma College.

I am sure many of the students of the US-Saudi Women's Forum on Social Enterepreneurship were in attendance - and would love to hear about the event from the perspective of those in the room.

Forum students: Were you there? What did you think? What questions would you ask the Secretary if you were given the chance to engage her in conversation? Ask your questions in the comment section of this post -- who knows, we may just get some answers.

**image from: Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Impact of the Saudi Fast Growth 100

The second annual list of Saudi Arabia's fastest growing emerging businesses was released last night at an Awards Gala at SAGIA's 4th Annual Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh.

The list reveals a diverse array of robust companies, the majority founded by young and ambitions entrepreneurs -- both male and female. Saudi Fast Growth 100 winners all have a track record of extraordinary revenue growth, while accounting for the creation of thousands of new jobs.

Read the FULL LIST of winners.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Social Innovation Conferences in 2010

Happy New Year readers!

Here's to a year full of energy, innovative ideas and successful ventures!

To help us all keep the innovation "juices" flowing, after our March event, I have listed a few conferences scheduled for this spring that may be of interest:

Tech4Society - February 11-13 in Hyderabad, India

Social Venture Capital/Social Enterprise Conference - March 16-18 in Miami

Social Media for Stakeholder Engagement - March 19 in London

Skoll World Forum - April 14-16 in Oxford, UK

Global Philanthropy Forum - April 18-21 in Redwood City, CA

SOCAP International 2010 Symposium - April 25-28 in Atlanta

Milken Global Forum - April 26-28 in Los Angeles

Social Enterprise Alliance World Summit - April 28-30 in San Francisco

The New Entrepreneur Conference 2010 - May 13-14 in Dusseldorf, Germany

Women Deliver Global Conference - June 7-9 in Washington, DC

Personal Democracy Forum - June 21-22 in New York City

iSociety International Conference - June 28-30 in London

Thank you to Justmeans.com for tracking and sharing these conferences.

Happy Innovating, friends.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thoughts from the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards is the premier award for students that own and run businesses while attending a college or university.

As we have mentioned before, one of our students was one of the 30 finalists at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards - and was one of just THREE women!

Ms. Maria Mahdaly was happy to share with us a few thoughts on her experience at the event:

When I was getting ready for the GSEA competition, I spent day and night preparing the perfect presentation, the strongest pitch, and the polishing up my written report. I aspired to win and actually thought I had a chance. However, when I arrived in Kansas City at The Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship, and started talking to the other competitors about themselves and their ventures it was clear that some were more experienced. They had achieved more and overcome a lot of challenges and obstacles. It hit me that I would not win.

As the Chinese proverb says: "A wise man learns from experience, a wiser man learns from the experience of others." Looking back now, being around all of those smart, successful, inspiring, young entrepreneurs from 27 different countries and seeing the passion and drive each one has was incredibly inspirational. Each and every one of us is facing the similar challenges and struggles in making our businesses successful. On top of that, we also have to worry about doing homework and excelling in our college educations. I took the opportunity to learn from the experiences of my peers and from the judges, and absorb as much knowledge as I could.

I urge and encourage every aspiring young entrepreneur to take advantage of every situation he/she may come across to learn and benefit. I read once that “the greatest difference between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs is that non-entrepreneurs never actually give it a try.”

So if you have something that you’re really excited to do and you're passionate about, do it and follow your dreams.

I did not win, but I did come home a winner.

Bravo Maria - we wish you continuing success.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Social media used to mobilize Jeddah

A few thoughts from one of our Dar Al Hekma students, Alaa Al-Mizyen, on the utility of social media in crisis situations:

In the wake of one of the most hard-hitting flash flood disasters to strike Jeddah in decades, social unions, youth groups, and charity organizations have sprouted overnight with the sole mission of shedding light upon this unfortunate occurrence. Some chose to deal with the flood aftermath in scrutiny and backlash, while others hung their heads low in grief and resonating heartaches…and then, there were those who heeded to the silent cries of the city’s inhabitants.

The message to be spread was loud and clear – help was needed, and it was needed immediately. Facebook groups with the mission of providing support to those afflicted by the flash floods were created instantly, with one such group obtaining approximately 30,000 members within a matter of days. Twitter and Watwet chirps echoed calls to action. Youtube and Flickr became the city’s visual podium – new social media, with its ability to reach the masses within seconds, lit a spirit of camaraderie and benevolence amongst the community. Volunteer groups were formed overnight with people heading over to the Jeddah Exhibition Center to help pack relief kits and sort donated goods. Men with 4x4s trekked out to the damage sites in search of stranded survivors. Collective efforts were pitched in almost instantaneously and I couldn’t help but recall how the infinite advantages of new social media were stressed upon during module I, and again in module II, of the US-Saudi Women’s Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.

We are living through a fruitful era, an era that is marked by unvarying connectedness and globalization. If applying new social media to your social enterprise seems trivial, just take a look at how it brought together a whole city during a time of despair. Discover a need, uphold a cause, throw it out into a networking media tool and you’ll reach thousands, impact millions, and help the world rid itself of one predicament at a time.

post by: Alaa Al-Mizyen
Co-founder of GreenJeddah
Creator of Arabian Pop