Entro Gate : Cultivating entrepreneurial mindsets

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Entro Gate, a Jordanian social enterprise, helps Jordanians address their specific questions and pave the path to ultimate entrepreneurial success. (Photo: Handout from Entro Gate)
AMMAN — Have you ever had larger-than-life ideas as a child, but could not quite figure out what to do with them? Is it still the case now as an adult? Having an idea yet not quite knowing how to convert it into a business? اضافة اعلان

Entro Gate, a Jordanian social enterprise, helps Jordanians address their specific questions and pave the path to ultimate entrepreneurial success.

Samar Obeidat founded Entro Gate in 2018, following a global trend that has taken Jordan by storm: entrepreneurship replacing the traditional career track, which most graduates used to jump onto without questioning if it was what they wanted or whether it was the best fit for their skills.

(Photo: Handout from Entro Gate)

“The youth should be able to create their own opportunities and be financially independent while finding solutions and covering the needs of the society,” Obeidat told Jordan News.

Obeidat channeled her extensive experience in youth, innovation, and entrepreneurship into an enterprise that supports the entrepreneurship ecosystem by providing services for individuals, start-ups, and several enterprises to assist them in realizing their vision and objectives, ultimately bolstering economic development, creating jobs, and inventing products or services that can make the world a better place.

(Photo: Handout from Entro Gate)

“It is the instant you turn to yourself and start asking these questions that you find the answer staring back at you. I was considering how we could foster a consistent nurturing of innovation and normalizing entrepreneurship in our societies. Between the lines, the idea came to me: why not teach kids how to approach life through the lens of innovation, why not help women and youth start, develop, and grow their projects successfully," Obeidat elaborated.

Entro Gate proposed to the Ministry of Education an offline, classroom-based innovation and entrepreneurship program to be implemented in public and private schools. A pilot was decided to test out and track its progress before proceeding with a program rollout. After the conclusion of the pilot, the ministry granted Entro Gate a five-year accreditation to implement the program in all Jordanian governorates.

(Photo: Handout from Entro Gate)

“We had several partnerships since 2018 with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship as well as with the Crown Prince Foundation (CPF)/TechWorks, to name a few. However, it was receiving funding from Oxfam and the EU through the JOin UP project that caused a paradigm shift in the way we work. The fund empowered us to create a digital platform and move beyond offline programming, which was especially significant at a time when a pandemic struck close to home. With extracurricular activities coming to a standstill, the online platform provided an outlet for our beneficiaries,” Obeidat said.

The online platform was designed to allow for interactive sessions and to do business as usual, but in a virtual environment. The platform offers integrated content for teaching entrepreneurship, including a series of educational videos, entrepreneurship, and innovation track test to measure the student’s entrepreneurial skills and a set of tools and means that enhance the partnership of parents and educational institutions during the student's educational journey. Students were able to upload all their activities and business plans online, which the mentors would check and then provide feedback on.

(Photo: Handout from Entro Gate)

With an estimated half a million visitors, the platform also features an Arabic blog for articles on related topics such as financial literacy, children's mental health, and technology.

The Jordan Academy of Arabic awarded it a prize in 2021 for the best project that provides credible Arabic content.

Entro Gate holds several competitions and camps to sharpen the entrepreneurial mindset of school students aged 12–17, whether they consider launching their startups in the near future or years down the road. However, school students are not the only ones to whom Entro Gate extends a helping hand. Mentorship is always offered to university students and adult women who have ideas but do not know how to transform them into for-profit businesses or lean startups.

Presentation skills, teamwork, financial planning, marketing, and even resource allocation are all areas where upskilling is provided to whoever needs it.

(Photo: Handout from Entro Gate)

Entro Gate employs a diverse team of full-time employees, 90 percent of whom women, part-time employees who focus on content creation, editing, and writing, and freelance trainers and mentors. The team's biggest win, according to Obeidat, is realizing the impact of what they do: seeing schools sign up for the program and parents happy and proud of their children wondering when the next phase will take place.

Entro Gate is currently expanding regionally, in Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, with the goal of eventually going international as the biggest platform for entrepreneurship and innovation in schools shaping a bright new generation.

While there is no magic formula for success, if one chooses entrepreneurship as a way of life, Entro Gate is working hard to foster innovative entrepreneurial mindsets, which are backbone of a fully functional, thriving business.

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