How to Build Dreams into Reality
A native of Nablus, Hend Jarrar is the program manager of the new Youth Rehabilitation through Entrepreneurship program. She is the recipient of a BA in Business Administration from the University of Jordan and a MBA in Business Administration from An-Najah National University.
What is the new program with which you are working?
With the support of the Qatar Fund for Development, TYO is pleased to introduce the Youth Rehabilitation through Entrepreneurship Program. According to the Palestinian Center for Bureau of Statistics, 51% of college graduates were unemployed at the beginning of 2016. TYO’s new Youth Rehabilitation through Entrepreneurship program was created to address the high percentage of unemployed youth in Nablus by targeting recent graduates ages 20-30 with new entrepreneurial ideas or with businesses that need help in their development. Training for the Youth Rehabilitation through Entrepreneurship program will cover managerial subjects including financial and strategic planning, creating a work plan and business plan, and bookkeeping. The program will also address other important skills such as English, computer skills, and pitching skills.
Since the program is designed build a community of young entrepreneurs, there will be a lot of networking during the courses. There will also be a mentorship phase during which participants of the program will be matched with successful businessperson to help develop idea and skills. By focusing on the needs of the participants and the skills of the mentors, each student will have an expert to help train and support their business’ growth.
What was the purpose of establishing this program?
Due to the economic situation, self-employment is important for the future of youth in Palestine. Youth want to work, but there are not enough jobs available in the work force. People need to create their own businesses to employ themselves. When these businesses are successful, this will open opportunities for others to have jobs and be inspired to create their own businesses. Entrepreneurship helps people be more self-reliant and proactive. If people can be self-employed, it will increase the quality of their lives and the lives of people around them.
For many graduates, the expected path is to finish university and obtain employment. When the traditional path doesn’t work out and they struggle with unemployment, the lack of exposure to new, innovative ways to create self-employment by developing business limits their thinking and choices. For youth who have great ideas and the desire to create a business, we are here to help them reach beyond the expected path and begin a journey of personal achievement and success.
What are some key elements that make this program special?
The Youth Rehabilitation through Entrepreneurship program is customized according to the participants’ ideas. Trainings and mentorships will be similar to coaching and cater to the specific needs and goals of participants, allowing them to develop skills to grow their ideas into a reality and overcome potential obstacles. The trainers and mentors are experienced in many different facets of business and can give specialized advice and expertise. With the assistance of these seasoned business experts, students will learn how previous businesses in similar fields have failed and avoid making the same mistakes.
In addition to the specialized coaching, this program will extend beyond the city of Nablus and reach throughout northern Palestine. Participants will be trained and coached in Nablus, but will be given support as they return to their cities and villages to implement their ideas and create their business in their hometowns. This approach allows for growth of the economy and job market in northern Palestinian and widens support and network of young Palestinian entrepreneurs.
As part of the program, what type of training will be offered?
There will be psychosocial training, business development, a business IT course, an English language program, and financial literacy. All of these trainings are important because they are work together. If you learn how to do financial planning but don’t have the skill or the ability to stand in front of an investor and persuade him about your project and your idea, the business won’t have support necessary to be successful. In addition to public speaking skills, it takes confidence to pitch an idea to an investor. This confidence will be developed during the psychosocial training. The IT and English courses are important because entrepreneurs need IT and English skills to communicate ideas internationally in a language people can understand. Computer skills are vital for using tools like PowerPoint and creating presentations and to advertise the business. All the aspects of this training program are very important and integrated. You can’t empower someone in only one area of business and expect them to succeed in the business world. We want to provide a holistic approach so that all our participants have success.
What would you say to someone considering joining the program?
I would encourage anyone who has a feasible business idea to apply to join the program. By completing an application and advocating for themselves, applicants demonstrate how serious they are about taking their idea and creating a business. The business concept should be feasible and potential entrepreneurs should be passionate, motivated, determined, and serious about improving themselves. Don’t get discouraged if your idea hasn’t taken off yet. Keep trying and be persistent. We are looking to share the wealth of knowledge with all of the most ambitious participants. Take the first step and apply to join us!
If you were not able to join us for the first session, we have great news for you! We are fortunate that with the support of QFFD, the Youth Rehabilitation through Entrepreneurship program will continue for several years. Keep watching the TYO Facebook page to find out when we open the next recruitment period!
What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming program?
I am excited to see participants’ growth throughout the program and watch as their ideas become real businesses. My dream is to see participants using the tools gained during the program to create their own established businesses that support themselves, their families, and future employees. We are excited to help youth chase their dreams and change their lives and the lives of those around them.
The Youth Rehabilitation through Entrepreneurship Program is supported by Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).
- Interview conducted by Tallin, Fall 2017 International Intern.