HH Sheikha Moza visits Youth Leadership Development Foundation

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HH Sheikha Moza visits Youth Leadership Development Foundation

Sana'a, Yemen, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chair of the Silatech Board of Advisers paid Wednesday morning a visit to Youth Leadership Development Foundation (YLDF) in Yemeni capital Sana'a. At the beginning of the visit, the Executive Manager of Youth Economic Development Center Safa Rawiah made a presentation on Khadija Program.

Using the slogan "behind each successful woman there is a great man," this innovative project links groups of dynamic young female and male entrepreneurs together to form women-led business teams.

This pilot project will provide entrepreneurship training linked to mentoring and business incubation services to 200 young women entrepreneurs.

Throughout its start-up phase with around 50 young people now undergoing entrepreneurship training, strong interest in the program is enabling it to build momentum.

Senior Country Representative for Silatech in Yemen Mohammed Al Maitami said "Silatech's focus is on supporting the introduction of comprehensive, scalable and sustainable youth employment and enterprise solutions in Yemen. This agreement sees the linking of key Silatech partners to create an end-to-end approach to youth entrepreneurship support in Yemen."

Silatech and its partner are also attracting corporate interest in supporting the provision of in-kind mentoring support to entrepreneurs. The private sector is also providing support scholarships to assist young women and men from communities outside of Sana'a access to the program.

Linkages are now being cemented between Khadija and Silatech's financial intermediary partners in Yemen, the Small Enterprise Development Fund (SEDF) and Al-Amal Microfinance Bank (AMB), to link future graduates of the Khadija program with sustainable financing.

Both SEDF and AMB are set to enter into agreements with the Khadija program to provide "priority access" to Khadija graduates who approach to their institutions looking for either small (SEDF) or micro (AMB) business financing for their projects, as long as they meet the basic terms of and conditions of both institutions.

Silatech is an innovative initiative engaging the private, public and civil society sectors to promote large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital for young people. It is intended to help address the critical issue of youth employment, a serious and growing challenge impacting countries throughout the Arab world. With the support of His Highness the Emir of Qatar and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Silatech was first announced in 2008 at the UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Madrid and launched in June 2008 at the first Doha Summit. Silatech means "your connection" in Arabic, and its strength is in partnering with leaders, corporations and organizations around the globe to promote opportunity and innovation.