Generation of Innovation Leaders - GIL

Nov 13, 2017

No one can ever anticipate the potential of youth until he/she touches upon them. When you are a 16 year old, little will be the expectations of your parents and your surroundings from you; other than your success in school. However, there is a completely new version to this story, one we witnessed through the Generation of Innovation Leaders - GIL project.

With an aim to empower marginalized Lebanese and refugee youth in Lebanon, who are aged 16 to 24, the GIL project is being conducted by INJAZ Lebanon across several labs in the North and the Bekaa.

Paving their way towards innovation, INJAZ Lebanon starts the entrepreneurial journey with training all GIL participants on the pillars of entrepreneurship. At this stage, students learn to develop key skills such as innovative thinking, business planning, marketing, and communication. After a month of exhaustive training, INJAZ Lebanon supports students in coming up with innovative solutions to address some of their community's pressing needs and problems. Upon formalizing their ideas, the students later pitch their solutions to our jury. Projects that show a social impact, innovation, sustainability, and a beam of bright future get granted a seed funding of $2,000 from the Embassy of The Netherlands in Lebanon and benefit from a close follow up from INJAZ Lebanon coaches. 

Of the many brilliant teams we witnessed throughout our journey in the GIL project, here we will share two stories we chose for you.

When you were 16 years old, how close were you to fulfilling your forever fetched dream?

Meet Bassam, one of our GIL heroes.

Having 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. To better support his beloved ones, Bassam participated in our GIL project and its entrepreneurship trainings.

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!

Not to skip school and as he thrives to seek a better education, Bassam affirms that he will only be at the shop in the afternoons after his school hours, with his brother taking over the scissors during the morning shifts.

If you are in 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's devastating war, Fatima the 23 year old, became the only provider of her sister. Fleeing the war, the two sought Lebanon and her grandparents as a resort for them. Fatima had to quit her studies and undergo trainings and preliminary side studies to support the two of them. Today, she is studying Business Administration at a local Academy in Tripoli. After hearing about the Generation of Innovation Leaders - GIL project in her academy, Fatima applied to one of our cycles and after pitching her idea to our judges, she benefited from incubation with our coaches.

Fatima, through her project, 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 of my personality I want to develop, so to change the living conditions of me and my sister. Today, we are deprived from many basic needs, when I work harder on expanding my business, we will no longer be deprived of anything!"


All thanks go here to UNICEF Lebanon and the Government of the Netherlands in Lebanon, that support and fund the GIL Project respectively. 

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