Ashoka Fellow M’hammed Abbad Andaloussi Wins Award For Social Entrepreneur of The Year


Marrakech, Morocco, 26 October 2010 –

Two Social Entrepreneurs one from Morocco and one from Tunisia – were recognized as leading social innovators during a plenary session at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, Marrakech, Morocco on 26 October. The awards were conferred by Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Social Entrepreneurs provide innovative, cost-effective, scalable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges – a critical resource in today’s economic climate. They blend business acumen with social objectives to address poverty and environmental challenges, and can, with limited resources, have transformative effects – not just on marginalized communities and populations where they often work, but also on entire sectors and economies.

The following winners received awards at the meeting:

Mhammed Abbad Andaloussi – Al Jisr, Morocco
Al Jisr has mobilized all parts of Moroccan society which have a vested interest in improving educational outcomes. He has succeeded in fostering true public-private partnerships in the education sector. With support from the Moroccan Ministry of Education, over 100 of Morocco’s leading companies have adopted 300 Moroccan schools. Business executives volunteer their time, resources and management expertise to join forces with parents, teachers and administrators on “school support councils” that improve key indicators of each school’s performance. Al Jisr’s efforts have already impacted the quality of education and school facilities for 150,000 students in 300 schools. Mr Andaloussi aims to reach 1,000 schools across Morocco by 2014.


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Congratulations M’hammad!!!!!



Race For The Cure 2010!

On Saturday October 23rd, over 15,000 people(!) gathered at the Pyramids in Giza to participate in the 2nd Annual Egypt Race For The Cure to support breast cancer research and awareness.    Ashoka Fellow Mohamed Shaalan’s Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt was the driving force behind this event.  The Ashoka staff was there to show support and congratulate Mohamed on throwing an AMAZING and powerful event!


Team Ashoka!

Ashoka Fellow Mohamed El Sawy was also on hand at the race to show his support!

We would like to congratulate Mohamed Shaalan on the resounding success of his event.  We would also like to remind everyone that while this was a great day for awareness, it is important to be conscious and support testing and research about breast cancer throughout the year.  See you all at the Pyramids next year!

Zikra Initiative Biogas Workshop!

Ashoka Fellow Rabee Zureikat’s Zikra Initiative will be holding a workshop on their Biogas waste/energy system on Monday. Check out the facebook event for more info.   Looks awesome!


Litter accumulation & disposing large amounts of organic material is considered a problem that leads to soil , water & air pollution , increased global warming , reproduction of insects & rats , and the spread of diseases.

By using anaerobic bacteria to utilize organic waste which produces Methane , organic fertilizer & alternative energy source in an environmentally safe methods , we have what is called Biogas.

The benefits of producing biogas exceed the disposition of waste – which is in itself a feature to be reckoned with- :

* It is a safer, non-toxic alternative choice to regular energy sources .

* Biogas generators can produce electrical energy.

* Biogas does not need filtering or processing , its byproduct consist of Carbon Dioxide and water vapor , which does not cause pollution .

* Has the smell of natural gas, its colorless and nontoxic.

In exchange for JD 50 that will help generate funding for the micro-loan program for the locals of Ghor Al-Mazra’a, you will be able to join us in a workshop about Biogas conducted by Mr.Hanna Fathi from Eygpt, you will also be able to help us build a unit that utilizes waste , generates biogas and produces cooking gas and electricity.

A certificate of completion shall be handed out to participants at the end of the course.

We will be arranging 3 workshops, On October 18th, 19th & the 20th , so you will be able to join us at the day of your convenience .Workshop session will take place between 10 am – 3 pm each day.

Contact us at for registration & further information about the meeting spots, the workshop & the location, hurry, we have limited places.

Please note that participants need to provide their own transportation.

Zikra’s eco-project of the year 2010 is sponsored by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation

To learn more about the Zikra Initiative, please visit our website:

Ashoka Arab World Launches the Ashoka Innovation Network for Young Professionals

On October 12th, 2010, Ashoka Arab World launched the Ashoka Innovation Network (AIN) in Cairo, Egypt.  AIN is the first forum designed specifically for young professionals in Egypt with an interest in social entrepreneurship to network, meet like-minded individuals from different sectors, and learn about the latest trends and initiatives in social entrepreneurship.  The 30 guests in attendance were strategically invited based on their professional background, as event organizers wanted to have a wide range of professional expertise represented.

The theme of the first AIN event was “bridging the gap,” between the public and corporate sectors to affect social change.  To highlight this theme, Ashoka Fellow, Raghda El Ebrashi, shared her story on how she is creating employment for marginalized youth through a market-based sustainable model.  She caters to business sector needs and market needs thus bridging the gap between the social sector and the business sector and professionalizing the citizen sector. Her model has as its workforce volunteer university students from the student clubs affiliated with Alashanek Ya Balady (AYB), her CSO. 

Raghda El Ebrashi speaks to young professionals at Cilantro during the innagural event of the Ashoka Innovation Network

 The event was perhaps most unique in the sense that it featured both informal and formal networking sessions.  After the initial meet and greet mingling period, AIN participants were divided into four “networking groups” that were facilitated by an AIN volunteers.  Participants were asked three questions whose answers spurred conversation about the importance of social entrepreneurship, and its relevance in solving many of the world’s social challenges.  The questions were also meant to provide a relaxed and informal way for participants to get to get to know one other.  

AIN will also offer opportunities for young Egyptians to volunteer directly with Ashoka Arab World Fellows, helping in their CSO, or offering consulting and mentoring services.   Mr. Sherif Hussein Yehia who works at HSBC and is the AIN volunteer coordinator said, “AIN provides me with the platform to meet other young people who are interested in getting involved with Ashoka and social entrepreneurship.  We have unique access to the Ashoka Arab World network and can use our skills to get involved with causes we care about deeply.”

Stay tuned for more updates from the event last night, including interviews with guests and information about upcoming AIN events.

Ehaab Abdou on Social Entrepreneurship and the Arts:


Yesterday Ashoka Fellow Ehaab Abdou performed some of his songs (he’s quite a renaissance man) at the Sawy Culture Wheel in Cairo. We caught up with him afterwards to ask him a few questions about the relationship between the arts and social entrepreneurship.

You can find out more about his music and mission at

and find out more about him as a social entrepreneur here!



Paging Opportunity

Souktel brings employment opportunities to West Bank Palestinians through mobile phones. Being finalist in the Women | Tools | Technology competition led to an exciting partnership with Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

Souktel’s mobile phone JobMatch service helps women find work by SMS: From any phone, users create SMS mini-CVs with basic data on their skills, location, etc. CVs are sent by mobile to a central database, which hundreds of employers search daily. Employers can also create similar mini job-ads and post them on the same database, so job-seekers can search these jobs from their own handsets.

Read more about Souketel here.