The 8th MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition winners will be announced on the 20th of April, 2015. This competition highlights as well as helps evolve and enhance entrepreneurship in the Region. Out of the 20th semi-finalist selected from the Idea’s Track, we at Barakabits had a chat with the Jereed Team from Egypt.
Jereed is a socio-economic project that creates jobs, saves the environment and raise the value of palm midribs by offering palm midribs’ wood products, poultry feed from palm midribs and other palm leaflets products.
Why did you apply for this competition?
Exposure, engaging with proactive people from all across the Arab world, to share and undergo a full learning opportunity. To understand better other approaches and comprehend more about our own approach. To win, to pay respect to the village we work in, and honor all those who supported us.
In your opinion what are some of the benefits of such competitions in the region?
Helping the social entrepreneurship field to bloom, and supporting already established enterprises with meaningful learning opportunities. Thus helping to create community leaders and successful calibres. Also creating a wide network of community activists, which enables them to not only share knowledge but also deepens their impact on the community as a whole.
Has there been any moment in the competition that has been more remarkable or surreal so far?
The moment we received our qualification email to the semi-finals a member of our team was out of the country, his cell phone got stolen and we couldn’t reach him for days. We needed to get his travel documents, so we called his friends who tried to reach his family to find a way for him to contact us. Our celebration was incomplete until we got his call and his travel documents. But then there was the issue of funding his accommodation, it just wouldn’t be right if we got to travel without the whole team. We called everyone we knew to find a place for one of us to stay in, it was when we asked people from our communities that things started to fall in place. They (our community) really wanted to support us and kept sharing and asking around with us until we found a place for him to stay. The strange thing is that we did not expect to get that much support from (the) people around us. We did not anticipate that telling the people the story behind JEREED would get them to collaborate together and help – in anyway possible.