Mesh Mostaheel Offers Optimal Support for Jordanian Youth Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship and employment support are key to addressing unemployment, realizing youth potential, and leveraging economic opportunities, nationally and regionally. As part of Partners for Good’s (PfG) role in supporting youth employment and providing unemployment solutions, entrepreneurship sector has been given considerable attention. In 2018 the organization launched programs centered on creating quality self-employment and job opportunities in various economic sectors. These programs aim to enable young entrepreneurs to implement their ideas, turning them into projects with added value that contribute to economic development and job creation.
Jordanian youths, according to World Bank figures, makeup around 63.27% of the country’s population of 11 million, face high unemployment, leaving them with limited economic opportunities and untapped potential.
Realizing this, Partners for Good (PfG) is committed to empowering youths by encouraging and backing their innovation, self-employment, and entrepreneurship to reduce unemployment and advance the national economy. Mesh Mostaheel entrepreneurship TV show and online platforms are key strategic programs launched, developed and sustained by PfG and a long list of supporters, incubators, public and private sector entities as well as a pool of mentors, consultants and most importantly entrepreneurs.
Mesh Mostaheel Journey:
Fostering Entrepreneurial Innovation
Building on its efforts to leverage the vast potential of Jordanian youths and promote their skills, PfG has forged partnerships with various stakeholders, including private sector enterprises, business incubators, startup accelerators, and academic institutions. The objective was to create a competition-based reality TV show to present Jordanian entrepreneurial projects, and provide winners with PfG mentoring/coaching support to better shape and present their businesses.
Mesh Mostaheel TV show
Mesh Mostaheel (Arabic for not impossible) focuses on supporting young entrepreneurs to create impactful community change at different levels. Engaging Jordanian entrepreneurs, and the community, the TV show aims to help advance the entrepreneurial environment, raise awareness, and inspire youths in Jordan.
Season 1 of Mesh Mostaheel (MM1) was broadcast on Roya TV in 2018, and season 2 (MM2) was launched in 2020. Sifting through various creative business ideas, Mesh Mostaheel nominated candidates to compete for opportunities to develop their projects, with support from mentors. Winners were awarded business incubation of their choice, as well as investment funding for their projects.
In 2020, MM2 received 2,500 applications, shortlisting 45 applicants vetted for face-to-face interviews. Twenty-two projects qualified for the final stages, and PfG mobilized 22 specialists to mentor the finalists for six months. Selected contestants competed weekly for the final show, where public voting decided the winner of grand prize of JOD 50,000.
Moreover, PfG launched several online and offline advertising campaigns for 15 months to promote Mesh Mostaheel, reaching more than 9 million people, engaging 400,000 persons on social media and garnering more than a million unique votes on www.meshmostaheel.com
Expanding Mesh Mostaheel Concept
Through Mesh Mostaheel, PfG has succeeded in implementing its concept of turning challenges into viable and sustainable economic opportunities and business projects.
Partnering with YouLead project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), PfG exported the Mesh Mostaheel concept to Sri Lanka, launching the StartUp 2021 show to empower youth and entrepreneurship. Successfully concluding the show in 2022, StartUp attracted more than 5,000 applications, and partnered with many enterprises in the public and private sectors. The social media platforms of StartUp generated strong engagement, seeing 1.1 million visitors, as well as LKR 1.4 million in social investment contributions from the public. The winners took home a grand prize of LKR 6 million.
Mesh Mostaheel Platform
Reinforcing its efforts to support Jordan’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, PfG launched an online platform in early 2022 to help empower young entrepreneurs with knowledge.
The Mesh Mostaheel platform publishes Arab-language content in a bid to raise awareness of entrepreneurial small businesses, and build leadership skills for youths. The platform offers interactive tools for small business owners to communicate with specialists and industry leaders and provide networking opportunities with a mentor/coach. It highlights success stories of entrepreneurs to inspire young people, introducing them to the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, and guiding them on how these young business people faced barriers to success. The platform also offers useful information, tips and articles on entrepreneurship, with open knowledge resources.