The project aims at embedding an entrepreneurial spirit amongst youth, transforming job seekers into job creators who are able to increase employment opportunities, building capacities and enhancing youth employability skills.
Developed by the Business Development Center (BDC) in Jordan and in line with the UfM flagship Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs), the project Maharat MED aspires to encourage employability projects on a multi-dimensional level in Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Morocco.
Initially the Maharat programme was created in order to address a major challenge facing Jordanian youth: unemployment. In addressing this challenge, Maharat bridged the gap between the output of education systems and the labour market requirements. Given the internationally recognised success of the programme in Jordan, BDC garnered the support of the Med4Jobs Initiative to work with other Mediterranean partners facing the same challenge to upscale and replicate Maharat in other Mediterranean countries.
The project’s approach tackles the problem of unemployment, both from the demand and the supply side: it trains students to be ready for future work and it helps them to start their own businesses. The programme relies on 4 pillars: employment (training on building knowledge and practical skills), entrepreneurship (behavioural training), education (implementing Maharat in vocational schools, community colleges and universities), and finally engaging Maharat beneficiaries in social work and community service activities. The private sector is involved in the whole process, particularly in the training activities.
Furthermore, the regional scope of the project foments the exchange of good practices and expertise across the beneficiary countries. The replication and adaptation of Maharat, a proven successful experience in Jordan, in the other beneficiary countries may also generate a positive spillover effect that could open new doors for action.
About the promoter and partner institutions
Established in 2004, the Business Development Center (BDC) is a non-profit organization committed to fostering economic development and public reform in Jordan and the Middle East. BDC projects and initiatives are designed to stimulate job creation and accelerate regional economic progress by: providing business development services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), cultivating the potential employability and entrepreneurship of youth, women and professionals, expanding public-private partnerships, and delivering career and entrepreneurial training.