Meet our 2022 Finalists - Keren, of Smart Sensory
Keren Makari is the founder of Smart Sensory which sells multi-sensory and innovative equipment and custom-built space design services to s
The 2022 HerMeNow Accelerator is a 5-month program that will bring training support to up to 30 women-led social enterprises in MENA and Africa in the sprint phase and technical, financial and mentorship support to 10 of them in the accelerator phase.
This program is run in collaboration with a dynamic team of experts specialized in
social entrepreneurship in MENA with more than 14 years of experience in the field: Bloom.pm
The targeted participants are start-ups and social enterprises created by women entrepreneurs that already have an existing structure and some traction and that are ready to scale up. Together we can help them grow!
The 2022 HerMeNow Accelerator edition is funded by StardustConcept* ESG & Impact division led by Tamara Ghandour.
The owner and founder, Natacha Fazal Karim, desires nothing more than to support women’s ideas, hopes and talents by empowering them through social entrepreneurship so they may be creative catalysts for collective change and sustainable development.
The program is almost entirely remote and accessible to enterprises across geographies.
*Stardustconcept is an interior design company, with offices in Dubai and New York.
They Whispered To Her,
You Cannot Withstand The Storm.
She Whispered Back, I Am The Storm.
is to support women-led social enterprises whose purpose is to shake up the status-quo through their commitment to social and environmental change.
is to provide a platform where women are given the space and freedom to blossom by using their talents to transform the world through positive change as well as the tools to grow their impact and bolster communities.
We believe that radical change hinges on these three supreme pillars as the conditions and means by which solutions to other critical SDG* challenges may be unlocked.
Social enterprises that can have a positive impact on culture, mindsets and education take a variety of forms and work across multiple sectors, including music, arts, sports, media, literature, children’s literature, wellbeing, and more.
All are welcome to apply as long as their mission and objectives are aligned with the implementation of culture and mindset towards achieving the SDGs. We’re particularly interested in unlocking change that addresses SDG1 ("end poverty in all its form everywhere") mostly through job creation, SDG number 5 ("achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls"), and SDG number 10 ("reducing inequality within and amongst countries").
*The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The global social impact or impact investment sector is a $715 billion market and today, according to the Global Impact Investment Network, less than 2% is coming to the MENA region although the MENA region is the only region in the world where poverty rates have consistently increased since 2014. One of the reasons why so little funding is coming to the region is because there aren’t enough accelerator programs that are supporting social enterprises with appropriate resources and support to help them grow. Moreover, there is even less funding available when they exit these programs (i.e. beyond the $40k ticket). Only 6 accelerators in the MENA region focus on social enterprises*, 3 of which run temporary programs for SEs providing they are able to raise funding.
Furthermore, throughout MENA's job markets, the primary victims of Covid have been women, especially women entrepreneurs and small business owners.
*Social enterprises seek to generate profits while maximizing benefits to society and the environment.
Access to world-class training and support for enterprise/organizational development from our Trainers and Enterprise Support Fellows.
Connections with Mentors/Experts worldwide to assist with key project needs.
A $2,000 USD grant funding.
Links to key regional and global partners for possible downstream support.
Personal and Professional 5 days retreat in Dubai in February 2023 where high profile speakers and advisors will be present.
Lifetime access to HerMeNow accelerator resources and network including mentors, investors, alumni and staff.
Enterprises will be assessed along these different criteria, though not all are required for the program.
What difference the enterprise will make, and for whom, how many jobs are created, what sort of marginalized communities are being impacted.
What skills, knowledge and resources need to be developed to deliver the idea.
Whether the idea can be realistically delivered by the end of the program, and within budget.
Whether the idea has the potential to become financially sustainable and last beyond the duration of the funding we provide.
Whether the enterprise is already generating revenue, as well as the stage of development of the specific product or branch that this program will support.
Whether the idea is new and different, and where or how it can potentially grow.
The enterprise is eligible if it meets the following criteria:
The enterprise is designed to be sustainable and economically viable.
Enterprises of only one individual.
Enterprises will get access to an empowering program that will include monetary prizes, mentoring, access to opportunities, and more.
Online discussions and “info sessions” with thought leaders to build awareness and momentum around the program.
The 2022 HerMeNow Accelerator Cycle.
There are two ways to get involved:
The principal mentor for a team in our programs. We’ll match you with an enterprise based on your preference and the needs of the business. We’ll ask you to commit to the following:
Joining at least one Sprint session to meet the enterprises.
Topic Mentors support teams in specific areas of expertise. Their support is on a case-by-case basis, per the enterprises' needs and requests. They have two primary responsibilities:
Sometimes, they provide advice and answers to the entrepreneurs, but more often ask good questions to help them discover the solutions they can resolve within them.
Community Engagement and Outreach
Engaging your community online and offline (including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter networks, along with the newsletters and website) in order to help us source enterprises for the program.
Visibility on the Bloom and HerMeNow website, event pages, emails, and social media.
Bloom programs focus on:
Development of essential personal and team skills that correlate with team/project success.
Bloom is also actively developing methods and online tools that can be used by other training programs to boost impact and facilitate access to resources for female entrepreneurs.
We’ve worked with over 400 teams over the last 7 years in Lebanon and the region, with a focus on early-stage startups and social enterprises, through online and offline programs.
Our teams have mobilized over $3m in next-stage funding, won prizes, and gained acceptance in top accelerators in Lebanon and worldwide.
We’ve collaborated with leading local, regional and international partners in the tech, accelerator, corporate, government, INGO, and university sectors.
Bloom’s lead trainers individually have 9-12 years experience (each) training and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across the MENA region, including substantial experience working with people from marginalized, underrepresented, migrant, and refugee communities.
They also have substantial prior experience in entrepreneurship, tech, education, and community building in the US.