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Top startups doing social good in MENA region

Startups are the result of lacuna or void created by under-development, deficiency, deficit, etc. which’s why a startup seeks opportunity as a fertile ground for its growth. Currently, new enterprises are gaining traction in the MENA region, as new entrepreneurs seek not just to innovate or to make a profit, but to do social good and have a deep and long-lasting impact on their community. From financial assistance to women empowerment these startups are making a great social change and empowering people throughout the region.  “Be greedy for social change, and your life will be endlessly enriched. The only failure lies in not trying, or in giving up.” –Ann Cotton, Welsch entrepreneur and Founder of CAMFED Based on the zeal of the above statement below is the list of the top 10 social enterprises seeking to empower social entrepreneurs in the MENA region:-

1. 3BL (Bahrain)

3BL (“Triple Bottom Line”) associates is a social impact and sustainability consultancy founded by Leena Al Olaimy in Bahrain. It aims to support Bahraini enterprises to have more social impact through multi-stakeholder development. By exhibiting the social, financial, and environmental benefits of a more sustainable approach to business, 3BL is impacting the business in Bahrain in a positive manner.

2. Alashsnek Ya Balady (Egypt)

It is a special type of start-up that focuses on the economic empowerment of youth and women residing in poor neighborhoods in Egypt, by providing specialized and vocational training, personal coaching, Government regulated employment opportunities and loans. Alashanek Ya Balady aims to promote volunteerism in community development and to encourage private and public partnerships, currently, it works in 11 governorates in Egypt.

3. Consult and Coach for a Cause (UAE)

It is a non-profit initiative striving to unlatch the potential of social enterprises to maximize their influence on the community. In this process, C3 conducts awareness campaigns about social business models and creates a network of social entrepreneurs to prepare the next line of leaders. They also facilitate the exchange of dynamic ideas and transfer of knowledge from corporate to social businesses along with providing the facility of personal coaching to social entrepreneurs.

4. Ma’an Network (Palestine)

The Ma’an network is a non-profitable independent media organization working to strengthen “non-affiliated media” and consolidate freedom of expression to promote democracy and human rights, the interesting fact about it is that it consistently offers real information and analyses with the help of its wide network of media channels. The Ma’an network has its headquarters in Bethlehem with regional offices in Ramallah, Nablus, and Gaza.

5. Goodgate (UAE)

Goodgate is a social enterprise that promotes transparency, efficacy, and performance in philanthropy across the Muslim world by connecting donors to good causes, it also intends to build useful products and services to promote the social good.

6. Recyclobekia (Egypt)

Started in 2011 by twenty university students in Egypt, it is a startup based on the most unique concept they recycle unused electronic waste across Egypt and promotes a recycling culture in Egyptian society. By collecting personal and corporate e-waste the company sells material to recycling plants for secondary use.

7. Glowork (Saudi Arabia)

It is the first website dedicated to female recruitment in the gulf. Founded by Khalid Alkhudair, Glowork aims to empower women and raise diversity in the Saudi Arabian workforce. It is the only startup of this type working on women empowerment in the gulf region.

8. Social media exchange (Lebanon)

Founded in May 2008, SMEX is a social startup that provides calculated social media training and consulting to social businesses and NGOs in the region. Their aim is to increase social media literacy, awareness and help the organizations to develop effective strategies for implementing in their programs and increasing access to the internet.

9. Nakhweh(Jordan)

It is a platform that connects people working in the development sector in the Arab world. It helps to augment opportunities, exchange ideas, transfer knowledge. Nakhweh is also making it easier to find out more about social entrepreneurship stakeholders.

10. Souktel(Palestine)

It is a mobile-based service that uses SMS technology to connect people with jobs and aid organizations with people who need their help. Launched by Harvard and MIT students in 2006 Souktel’s services are changing the lives of people by giving them information over mobile phones because that information helps them to get a job or to fulfill their humanitarian needs.

“Human creativity is unlimited. It is the capacity of humans to make things happen which didn’t happen before. Creativity provides the key to solving our social and economic problems”- Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank and pioneer of microcredit and finance

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