Volunteers from Deloitte Middle East are training over 2,000 students under the Deloitte Injaz Al Arab Be Entrepreneurial programme. Deloitte volunteers in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Palestine and Qatar have been facilitating business and entrepreneurial training programmes to high school students in schools across the Middle East since early 2012.
“With one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, it is importantfor our region that young Arabs are equipped with business and entrepreneurial skills to create job opportunities and achieve long-term success,” said Omar Fahoum, Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Middle East. “We are committed to help in closing the skills gap and digital divide in our communities, as an integral part of our Corporate Responsibility strategy,” he added.
Deloitte volunteers under a number of skills building programmes, serve as mentors, bringing their real-world experiences to the classrooms in the region. Students are being taught the intricacies of establishing and maintaining a profitable business, management skills, and presentation tactics as part of the first phase. The Be Entrepreneurial programme will then culminate with a regional business plan competition. Deloitte Middle East will assist in screening applicants and judging the business plan competition during which youth and young adults will present their ideas to business leaders and compete for startup financing.
The curriculum will also be launched online so that it can be quickly scaled and reach students throughout the region, as well as young people outside the formal education system.
According to recent reports by the World Bank, the MENA region is experiencing the highest regional youth unemployment rates in the world. With 60% of the region’s population under the age of 30, the World Bank estimates that close to 100 million new jobs will need to be created over the next 10 to 15 years. In addition, reports indicate that the MENA region spends more per capita on education than any other region, yet it still lags behind in employment rates. Unemployment rates are also higher for young women than young men.
In this regard, Deloitte Middle East has tailored aCorporate Responsibility(CR) strategy to cater to the needs of the region. The strategy includes a shift of focus to education that is closely aligned to employers’ needs, and students’ long term employment in a global knowledge economy.
“We find that the donation model alone, which is typically how CR began, will not make lasting changes in society. Sustainability and societal impact are the only ways forward. Therefore, our CR strategy at Deloitte is to address and tackle core issues for future generations in our communities,” said Rana Ghandour Salhab, Talent & Communications Partner, Deloitte Middle East.
To learn more about Deloitte Middle East’s Corporate Responsibility strategy, visit Deloitte.com.
Before joining SME Advisor, I worked as a producer/reporter for Forbes Media in New York. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Florida in the US. I am currently in Dubai working as Sub-Editor for SME Advisor Middle East, which is a business magazine published by CPI. You can follow me on Twitter: @joumanasaad or @SMEadvisorME and (Joumana Saad) or (SME Advisor) on LinkedIn.