In the Mediterranean region, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) represent the vast majority of firms. They account for between one half and three quarters of total employment and contribute substantially to innovation and value creation.
In this context, the OSCE decided to promote Green and Social Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean as a tool for contributing to stability and peace in the region. The OSCE partnered with the SwitchersFund by launching the OSCE GEMS Awards thanks to an initial endowment by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.
On April 26th 2018, the OSCE GEMS Award ceremony will be held in Vienna to reward 6 young entrepreneurs under 35 years of age from Mediterranean countries who submitted innovative ideas for improving their environment while at the same time making a social impact. These six entrepreneurs, one each from Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, will be awarded a €15,000 grant.
Yara Yassin and Up-fuse, a brand that promotes eco-conscious lifestyle by designing and producing upcycled bags from discarded plastic waste in Egypt.
Lina Murad AL-Kurdi, originally from Jordan, that is launching Green Roof, an ambitious project that aims at reducing the energy loss through the insulation of buildings and improving the air quality.
OthmaneBenhlima, a Moroccan electrical engineering working in a rural region where women were still using wood for cooking that in return exposes them to toxic fumes. Concerned, he decided to work on their issues and eventually came up with Eco-Heat.
YakirTadmor, from Israel, that is working on an innovative prototype Solar Living System capable of supplying neighbourhood electricity, hot water and shade.
AtiNisaf, young entrepreneur from Tunisia, that with his social enterprise TADHAMEN, works to improve the profitability and productivity of local goat herds by genetic crossbreeding with pure, high-producing breeds of meat and milk.
TheSwitchersFund want also to thanks everyone who participated and helped make this contest a success!
Stay tuned for the next SwitchersFund OSCE GEMS Award in 2018!