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Programme to boost ‘ideation’ of Jordan’s entrepreneurial scene

By Camille Dupire - Oct 31,2018 - Last updated at Oct 31,2018

AMMAN — As market research recently highlighted the lack of ideation (the creative process of generating, developing and communicating new ideas) in Jordan, a three-year initiative is developing technology-enhanced solutions to tackle this issue and ultimately address youth unemployment.

Established by Mercy Corps (MC) and local partners with the support of, the Youth Impact Labs (YIL) is launching the second part of its programme, which aims at identifying and testing creative tech solutions to support vulnerable youth between 15 and 35 years old.

“One of our main interventions focuses on creating solutions for talent management issues that hinder the efficiency of the work environment in the Jordanian private sector,” senior communications and research officer at MC, Amal Maayeh, told The Jordan Times on Tuesday, noting that, following an analysis of the market, the YIL team will gather a wide range of experts from various sectors to take part in its “Ideation and Entrepreneurship” trainings.

“We will bring human resources experts, business experts and web designers, who will go through two intensive trainings over a two month period. They will get to build up their ideas and thoughts to finally come up with an applicable business product,” Maayeh continued, noting that the final product will receive financial and technical support from the YIL programme.

According to a YIL statement sent to The Jordan Times, there are approximately 1.8 billion young people worldwide, 85 per cent of whom are living in developing and emerging economies such as Jordan.

Globally, young people are four times more likely to be unemployed than adults, with too few jobs being created for the future, the statement added, noting that, in Jordan, unemployment rates have risen from 14 to 20 per cent in recent years, witnessing even higher rates for women and youth (30 per cent).

“When conducting our field research, we noticed that there are many start-ups in Jordan, carried by extremely motivated youth developing innovative solutions,” Khaleel Najjar, programme manager at Mercy Corps pointed out in a recent interview with The Jordan Times, underscoring the need to support such entrepreneurs in establishing self sufficient, long term ventures.

“We want to support them so they can break even and help in making the business sector in Jordan more ‘healthy’,” he continued.

Spanning over 2017-2019, the YIL focuses on the three interconnected elements of the labour market system, namely supply, demand and ecosystem, the YIL statement said.

“First, we will tackle talent management challenges by fostering ideation and innovation. Second, we will increase demand for youth labour through private sector partnerships and platform development, specifically focusing on the sharing economy. Third, we will strengthen the labour market ecosystem by creating a new system to match market demands with labour supply,” the statement added.

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