Generation of Innovation Leaders - GIL
The GIL project, supported by UNICEF Lebanon and funded by the Government of The Netherlands in Lebanon, is being conducted by INJAZ Lebanon across several labs in the North and the Bekaa.
With the Generation of Innovation Leaders program (GIL) INJAZ Lebanon is helping to provide the tools for a better future in Lebanon’s most marginalized and refugee communities.
INJAZ Lebanon is implementing the GIL program, that is funded by the government of the Netherlands, and with the support of UNICEF, across several communities in the North and the Bekaa with an aim to empower marginalized Lebanese and refugee youths in Lebanon, aged 16 to 24 years.
Through a one-month intensive entrepreneurship training program, participants learn to develop key skills such as innovative thinking, business planning, marketing, and communication and are supported in coming up with innovative solutions to address some of their community's most pressing needs and challenges. With the support and guidance of a business trainer, they go through an idea generation process, select an idea, refine it and develop a business and costing plan for their project before presenting it to a jury.
Projects that demonstrate viability and sustainability while addressing a community need may be granted up to USD2,000 seed funding as well as four- to six-weeks’ incubation support with INJAZ Lebanon coaches.
Of the many brilliant projects we witnessed throughout our GIL project journey, we chose two stories to share with you in this edition of our newsletter. A big thank you to the Government of the Netherlands in Lebanon and UNICEF Lebanon for making this project a reality!
When you were 16 years old, how close were you to fulfilling your dream?
Meet Bassam, one of our GIL heroes.
With a bedridden father, the 16 year-old found himself in need to grow past his age and help support his family of 4 boys and 3 girls.
Building on his work experience, his passion towards what he does, and his community's need for an experienced barber in the area, he got his idea incubated with INJAZ Lebanon. He is only 16 years old and is realizing his dream of opening and operating his own barber shop!
So as not to skip school and as he thrives to seek a better education, Bassam will only attend to his shop in the afternoons after his school hours, with his brother taking over the scissors during the morning shifts.
If you are in the Beddawi area and looking for a haircut, Bassam's shop is the best place to head to!
"I learned how to achieve my goals, how to manage my finances, and how to do a daily and an end-of-year inventory check," said Fatima ElAhmad.
After losing her parents in 2013 in Syria, Fatima, 23 years old, had to quit her studies and undergo trainings and preliminary side studies to support herself and her sister. Today, she is studying Business Administration at a local academy in Tripoli. After hearing about the GIL project, Fatima applied and joined one of our training cycles. Pitching her idea to our judges, she was granted funding and incubation support to run her project.
Fatima aims to provide mothers and daughters trendy and stylish matching clothes. In her business plan, Fatima intends to expand her business and to provide fathers and sons a mutual fashionable look too.
Fatima thanked the GIL project for helping her explore aspects of her personality she never touched upon. Fatima added, "There are still plenty of aspects I want to develop, so as to improve the living conditions for my sister and I. Today, we are deprived of many basic needs, when I work harder on expanding my business, we will no longer be deprived of anything!"
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