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Succeeding Beyond Their Expectations

By Majid Khalid Alshammiri and Maha Shumaila

A team of Yemeni innovators has created a way to keep their land greener, and their forward thinking has earned them the top award, “Best Company”, at this year’s INJAZ Young Entrepreneurs Competition, held December 2 – 4 in Kuwait City.

GEP, the company founded by the four young men and two young women, aims to improve public health and the environment by fighting the heavy use of chemical fertilizers across the country, which degrades soil and pollutes groundwater. GEP’s answer is a 100% natural, eco-friendly fertilizer to grow healthier crops, prevent pollution and regenerate the soil.

The team envisions GEP’s future as “an internationally recognized model for major manufacturing companies” that will spread a new concept of fertilizer and its use. Team members also acquired a new vision of themselves through INJAZ.

It made entrepreneurs out of us at a time we didn’t think we could be,” says one. Yemen’s school team, comprised of 14-year-old girls, also won the “Best Social Impact” award among Arab school teams.

For more info – Article on their win

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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