Our activities and support programmes

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In order to support the socio-economic inclusion of young people and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in North Africa and the Middle East, the Safir project offers two types of activities.

On the one hand, various skill-sharing programmes aimed at incubators, civil society organisations and universities in the region.

On the other hand, a series of support programmes for over 1000 young people in the region, centred on two main themes : social entrepreneurship and advocacy for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. These support programmes will be implemented by 7 incubators and 21 civil society organisations, the Safir project partners.

All of these activities will contribute towards creating a regional network of stakeholders committed to social entrepreneurship and the SDGs.

Daoud-abismail
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Our activities aimed at SAEIs, CSOs and universities

To train a network of stakeholders mobilised around the themes of social entrepreneurship and the Sustainable Development Goals, Safir offers a series of activities to incubators, civil society organisations and universities in North Africa and the Middle East.

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Support programme for Innovative Entrepreneurship Support Structures (SAEI)
Specialized in the support of young project leaders, Innovative Entrepreneurship Support Structures (SAEI), such as incubators, accelerators or business incubator, provide an environment conducive to the implementation of innovative initiatives for sustainable development.

They answer the dual need for the professional integration and civic integration of young people who face mass unemployment, increasing of inequalities and ecological and environment threats...

Support programme for Innovative Entrepreneurship Support Structures (SAEI)

Specialised in the support of young project leaders, Innovative Entrepreneurship Support Structures (SAEI), such as incubators, accelerators or business start-ups, provide an environment conducive to the implementation of innovative initiatives for sustainable development.

They answer the dual need for the professional integration and civic integration of young people who face mass unemployment, increasing inequalities and ecological and environment threats etc.

7 incubators in North Africa and the Middle East were therefore selected in the first year of implementation of the Safir project, in order to build a regional network of support structures. They currently benefit from skill-sharing sessions, led by 2 Safir consortium member incubators: Lab’ess and Pitchworthy. Following these sessions, they will provide support to the young project leaders.

These 7 incubators will also contribute to the creation of a guide to innovative entrepreneurship, adapted to the regional context and drawing on their own experience in the field.  

Support programme for Civil Society Organisations
Safir offers a tailored support programme dedicated to civil society organisations (CSOs). The latter offer an environment conducive to the implementation of civic action for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In ever growing number in the countries targeted by the project, they are often led by stakeholders strongly committed to the fight against inequalities, insecurity and environmental protection. As stakeholders in the public debate, they have the capacity to mobilise and raise awareness among the population and those in charge of addressing the issues they defend.

The first year of implementation of the project was dedicated to selecting the Safir partner CSOs. The 21 organisations selected currently benefit from advocacy training workshops for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, implemented by our partner responsible for advocacy-related activities, the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND).

Support programme aimed at Universities
Today over 7 million young people in North Africa and the Middle East are students. The Higher Education and Research Institutions (HERI) have three priority missions : training, scientific research and service to community. To ensure these missions, it is essential that they take into account, in their activities and in their relations with local stakeholders, the socio-economic, cultural and environmental concerns of the territory in which they are located.

The university thus has a duty to train responsible citizens capable of integrating easily into society. However, it is confronted with a difficult regional context. On the one hand, the capacities of absorption of graduates by the labour market are largely exceeded. On the other hand, a large number of the training courses provided are not in line with the needs and challenges of sustainable and inclusive development 

Afin de garantir aux jeunes que leurs diplômes d’enseignement supérieur soient un gage d’insertion professionnelle, les universités doivent être accompagnées pour développer de nouvelles compétences professionnalisantes et diffuser une culture citoyenne et responsable auprès de leurs étudiants.

C’est pourquoi le projet Safir propose un troisième programme d’accompagnement, destiné aux EESR d’Afrique du Nord et du Moyen-Orient et centré sur :

  1. L'adoption ou le renforcement d’une gouvernance en matière de Responsabilité Sociale des Universités (RSU)
  2. L’appui à la conception ou au renforcement de parcours de formation dédiés à l’entrepreneuriat social et aux enjeux des Objectifs de développement durable (ODD)
  3. Le renforcement d’incubateurs universitaires dédiés à l’entrepreneuriat social

Ces espaces d’incubation ont vocation à être des lieux de transition entre les mondes universitaire et le marché du travail. Ils veilleront à :

  • Renforcer les compétences des étudiants ;
  • Favoriser des synergies entreprises-universités
  • Sensibiliser le public aux enjeux des ODD permettant de toucher le plus grand nombre et à favoriser une culture citoyenne chez les étudiants et les enseignants-chercheurs.

Une première cohorte de 9 universités a été sélectionnée en 2020. Ces établissements bénéficient d’un accompagnement technique et financier pour renforcer leur offre académique en entrepreneuriat social, créer des espaces d’incubation dédiés aux étudiants-entrepreneurs et adopter une gouvernance en matière de responsabilité sociale de l’université.

À terme, l’objectif est de permettre à ces espaces d’incuber des initiatives entrepreneuriales sociales d’étudiants et d’organiser des sessions de sensibilisation aux ODD. Ils seront invités à participer aux rencontres régionales entre bénéficiaires du projet, et auront une programmation annuelle d’événements citoyens.

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Our activities aimed at young people

The activities offered by the Safir project to young people in the North African and Middle East region include two components : activities dedicated to social entrepreneurship and those dedicated to advocacy for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Social Entrepreneurship component

In terms of social entrepreneurship, Safir offers the young people selected support sessions at the various stages of development of their entrepreneurial, media and associative project:

-    Two series of introduction workshops on social entrepreneurship and on the Sustainable Development Goals.  The first series of workshops have already taken place from mid-February to mid-March 2021. It allowed for the awareness raising of 200 young people in the various countries in which the programme is active. A second series of local workshops will be held in February-March 2023, to initiate other young people to these themes.

-    An incubation programme, aimed at 90 young people who have already developed an idea in 6 months into a project with social, cultural or environmental impact. The selected applicants will be supported by the 7 Safir network incubators.   The call for applications for this programme will be launched by the summer of 2021.

-    An acceleration programme, which will provide the possibility for around fifty young people who have participated in the incubation phase, to access funding and to continue to receive support for 6 months. They will also benefit from a networking trip in Europe.
The young people will be selected at the end of the incubation period by a funding committee bringing together various experts.

The young people selected by these activities may be invited to participate in other Safir events that will be organised in the region.

The Sustainable Development Goal Advocacy training component

As regards advocacy training for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, general and more specific training sessions will be offered to the participants. The support of young people comprises three elements:

-    A 6 month training period, which will allow for over 600 young people from the various countries in which the project is active to take part in training provided by the CSOs. A first call for applications will be launched in the spring of 2021 and a second in the spring of 2022.

-    The participation of 60 young people in the Youth Forum, organised by the ANND. Providing a platform for dialogue, this two-day forum brings together experts, public authorities and young people. It provides the latter with the opportunity to develop skills in the formulation of recommendations for the attention of the public authorities.

-    The participation of 20 young people in the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development. Organised by the United Nations, this forum is the regional mechanism for the follow up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the Arab region.

This SDG advocacy training programme will be implemented in 2021-2022 and repeated in 2022-2023.

The young people selected by these activities may be invited to participate in other Safir events that will be organised in the region.