Innovation Labs Network
Calling the youth to innovate and incubate, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, INJAZ Lebanon launched a pilot youth social entrepreneurship project; the Innovation Labs Network, that is supported by UNICEF Lebanon and funded by the Government of the Netherlands. The Innovation Labs Network project aims at empowering marginalized Lebanese and refugee youth in Lebanon. The project strives to give the youth hope in a promising future and to encourage them to get positively involved in their societies.
The Social Entrepreneurship Project gathered around 100 Lebanese and Syrian youngsters, aged 15 to 24 years, and engaged them in a series of social entrepreneurship and employability skills trainings across several labs in the North and the Bekaa regions. Students developed key skills such as innovative thinking, business planning, marketing, and communication that will allow them to address important needs in their communities. Program attendees were also organized into teams and were given the chance to design, and even run, a small project addressing a need in their community.
A total of 326 students have registered and participated to date and INJAZ Lebanon is gearing up to deliver training sessions in 10 locations across North Lebanon and the Bekaa. Out of these registered students, 19 teams from the North and the Bekaa Labs are being incubated and receiving seed funding to bring their projects to life. The business ideas vary between tourism, education, catering, and clothing, among others. By the end of the summer, we hope to incubate another 50 projects.
The Innovation Labs Network project is being implemented in the North and the Bekaa in collaboration with DOT Lebanon--which is delivering the digital training component of the project-- and in partnership with several local NGOs: Al Multaka Academy, Arcenciel, House of Wisdom, the Lebanese Association for Scientific Research (LASeR), the Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training (LOST), Openness Development Association (O.D.A.), and Ruwwad Lebanon.