‘Social Innovation Starts With YOU’ campaign will feature 10 successful Egyptian entrepreneurs and help support their ideas.
Today, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) underscores its commitment to the Arabic-speaking world by announcing a new social entrepreneurship campaign and competition in partnership with Nahdet El Mahrousa, an Egypt-based nongovernmental organization (NGO). Yahoo! Inc., Yahoo Middle East, and Nahdet El Mahrousa are spearheading an unprecedented online campaign called, “Social Innovation Starts with YOU” to encourage social entrepreneurship among young Egyptians.
This campaign is aligned with the U.S. Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship that will take place on April 26 – 27, 2010 in Washington D.C., where Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang will deliver a keynote speech addressing how the Internet can positively transform lives, societies, and economies in emerging markets and Arab communities.
“Yahoo!’s announcement to acquire Maktoob last year shined the spotlight on tech entrepreneurs in the Arab world and the incredible potential and talent in the region that is largely untapped,” said Ahmed Nassef, managing director of Yahoo! Middle East. “This partnership with Nahdet El Mahrousa continues our commitment to invigorate and grow the Internet market in the Middle East as a whole and will enable the next wave of tech entrepreneurs from Egypt to realize their dreams. We can’t wait to see their innovative ideas!”
Social Innovation Starts With YOU
Today there are more than 16.5 million* Internet users in Egypt, the largest Arab Internet population. The ‘Social Innovation Starts with YOU’ campaign is aimed at inspiring and motivating young online Egyptians. Starting in April, two successful Egyptian social entrepreneurs will be featured on the “Social Innovation Starts with YOU” campaign’s website (eg.socialinnovation.yahoo.com), sharing their compelling stories and providing advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. In June, up to ten entrepreneurs will be featured, and visitors to the website can vote for the entrepreneur who they think has made the biggest impact on their communities. The winner will be featured on the front page of Maktoob.com and be invited to be a judge for the campaign’s Social Innovation Competition.
In the Social Innovation competition, launching in June, Yahoo! and Nahdet El Mahrousa will invite individuals from across Egypt to be the next social entrepreneurs of the year by developing new ideas in the fields of education, health, environment, and a wildcard
category. The campaign’s website will serve as an entry point for aspiring entrepreneurs by providing an online toolkit of inspirational stories, advice, resources, and Web services to get them started. Ten winners will be honored with monetary grants and technical and management support to help bring their ideas to life. Among the winners will be already existing social entrepreneurs who will receive support to scale their efforts and achieve wider impact. In total, Yahoo! will contribute $500,000 to the campaign, and as part of that, will provide close to $250,000 in monetary grants to awardees. In addition to monetary support, the innovation awardees will also receive training and mentoring support for three years to help ensure success.
“In partnering with Yahoo! we are furthering Nahdet El Mahrousa’s mission to engage and activate young Egyptian professionals in the development and public arenas and in shaping Egypt’s future,” said Loay El Shawarby, chairman of the board of Nahdet El Mahrousa. “The ‘Social Innovation Starts with YOU’ campaign will provide a valuable platform for budding social entrepreneurs in Egypt to help make their enterprise ideas become a reality as well as help existing social enterprises scale-up. As an added benefit, we believe that supporting emerging and existing enterprises will help create new jobs for Egypt and the region.”
Builds on Yahoo! Middle East’s Efforts
Yahoo!’s social entrepreneurship campaign with Nahdet El Mahrousa follows its announcement in August 2009 that Yahoo! had acquired Maktoob.com, the leading online community in the Arab world, which has more than 19 million unique users. This acquisition is part of Yahoo!’s larger strategy to grow its business throughout the world’s emerging markets by connecting consumers with the content and services that matter most to them in their local language. Internet users benefit from the combination of Yahoo!’s popular products and services with Maktoob’s compelling local content, which reaches one in three people online throughout the region. The acquisition extends Yahoo!’s current offerings by adding capabilities to deliver relevant Arabic-language content and services, as well as Arabic version of Yahoo!’s popular Yahoo! Messenger