UNIDO accelerator begins search for 50 SMEs and startups

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AMMAN — The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Changelabs announced the launch of the LevelUp Accelerator on Tuesday. اضافة اعلان

The 7 to 8 month long program aims to support Jordanian entrepreneurs and give them access to global markets while sustainably advancing Jordanian industries. 

“We want to encourage young and other entrepreneurs in Jordan to become makers … to contribute to their economy and to the competitiveness of Jordan,” said Karim Samra, CEO and founder of Changelabs, in a webinar announcing the launch of the program.

“We want to help you makers launch your projects and bring them to the market,” he added.

He believes that these efforts will help the economy and competitiveness of Jordan as a country, which is critical for both Jordan and the MENA region at large.

The program emphasizes the need to boost job creation for both youth and women.

Participants in the accelerator will be given access to a “global network of people”, including regular mentors, coaches, and experts.

The LevelUp Accelerator focuses on three industries: fashion and garments, natural cosmetics, and phytopharmaceuticals (herbal medicines).

It starts with a series of free master classes that are open to the public and intended to “give (participants) a taste, to get (them) started on this journey,” and to introduce general concepts relevant to entrepreneurs, according to Samra.

One masterclass will focus on design thinking, while another will address the circular economy.

The second stage is an e-learning program that is open only to the top 50 applicants. This is made up of two cohorts: incubators for start-ups and accelerators for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

Towards the end of the program, the top 10 applicants will be given access to Italian and other European markets as “champions of digital change”.

Some speakers at Tuesday’s online event included Lebanese nutritionist Dr Angie Kassabie, founder of nutrition consultancy Angie’s; Dania Dahleh, founder of Amman-based sustainable clothing brand Enorm World; and Zayna Hamarmeh, CEO and founder of Mode Marketing and PR. 

Applications for the LevelUp Accelerator program will close in mid-July.

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