IJNet Arabic launches third mentoring center for media startups in the MENA region

by IJNet
Oct 30, 2018 in Digital Journalism

Entrepreneurs of the Middle East and North Africa region now have the chance to take their exciting digital media startups to the next level.

IJNet’s Arabic channel will launch its third mentoring program for individuals and organizations in the Middle East and North Africa. Applicants must have already launched their projects in order to qualify.

You can check out what the latest group of eight mentees from Iraq, Jordan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco achieved in the “MENA Mentoring Center 2015” — #MENACampus15.

IJNet mentors worked closely with their mentees to establish business and media plans, implementing strategies and guiding them by evaluating and studying each project's needs and market to put those entrepreneurs on the right track.

This year, the program has widened the scope of applicants that will be accepted, and will start with 16 semi-finalists in the early stage. The semi-finalists will complete an online training program for about one month to hone their projects. From that group, eight mentees will be selected to work with a mentor for 12 months.

The program will equip the eight mentees with the business, technical, managerial, digital and mobile media skills and strategies needed to help their existing startups to thrive.

How the Mentoring Center will work:

Applications are due May 31, 2016. IJNet and the mentors will choose 16 mentees as semi-finalists to participate in an online training for about one month that will help them further hone their proposed action plans. Once the online training is complete, the mentors will select the eight media startups with the best potential for further participation in the Mentoring Center. The finalists will be invited to a training boot camp where they will have the chance to meet with their mentors and other trainers and guest speakers in Amman, Jordan.

In addition to the bootcamp, the eight mentees will have sustained online mentoring, networking meetings and guidance over the course of 12 months to address the key areas of development and ensure the growth and sustainability of their startups. Mentors will visit the mentees in their offices at their home countries.

Applicants must already be working on their existing media startup (including digital or mobile) that targets Arabic-speaking audiences in Middle East and North Africa. Women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Mentees will invest about five hours per week in the mentoring project.

Other commitments will include:

  • Participating in at least three online meetings with all of the program’s mentors and mentees to discuss common challenges and possible solutions
  • Participating in the training bootcamp
  • Meeting the mentor in person in the mentee’s home country
  • Producing at least four blog posts for IJNet Arabic about the mentoring experience – lessons learned, new skills and tools applied, challenges

Applications must include:

  • An overview of tangible goals the mentoring program will help to achieve
  • An explanation of the expertise, tools and skills needed to realize the stated goals
  • Links to the startup’s website and social media accounts
  • An outline of the plan they are following to sustain and grow their media startup in bullet points form.

At the end of the program, IJNet will award US$5,000 in seed funding to the most promising of the eight mentee projects.

The deadline to apply is May 31, 2016.

To apply (in Arabic), click here.

The photo is taken from the second Mentoring Center.