Silatech is an international social initiative that works to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for young Arabs. The organization promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, access to capital and markets, and the participation of young people in economic development thus contributing to the attainment of a number of Sustainable Development Goals
Silatech is an innovative social enterprise. Silatech was established to address the critical and growing need to create jobs and economic opportunities for young people. The initiative promotes large-scale job creation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital and markets for young people, starting first in the Arab world, where the highest rate of youth unemployment exists.
Silatech was founded in January 2008 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser with broad support from other regional and international leaders.
Silatech’s mission is to connect young people, 18-30 years old, with employment and enterprise opportunities. Its commitment is to mobilize interest, investment, knowledge, resources and action to drive large-scale comprehensive employment and enterprise development programmes. More than 100 million young people between 15 and 29 years old now represent 30 percent of the region’s total population. In the past thirty years, enrollment in secondary schools has increased nearly threefold..
Silatech works across three critical domains: Thought Leadership; Investment; and Technology.
Thought Leadership. Silatech has brought together a network of leading researchers, practitioners and institutions to serve as a focal point of scholarship, action-oriented research and regional and global best practices to support youth employment in the Arab world. Silatech-commissioned research focuses on practical contributions to regional and country-level job creation and enterprise development efforts. Silatech-commissioned research also explores the effectiveness of different policies and approaches to supporting young people, tracking youth attitudes and economic status, stimulates financial access for youth and youth-led enterprises and generates strategies for scaling successful initiatives.
Investment. Silatech is mobilizing large-scale investment and financial support for youth employment and enterprise development. By mobilizing co-investment partnerships, Silatech is aggregating resources and expertise to create results beyond the capability of any single actor. Silatech advocates for increased and new forms of investment by partners – donors, investors, capital markets, corporations, financial institutions, governments, non-governmental organizations – to develop customized strategies to create jobs and economic opportunities for young people.
Innovative Technology. Silatech is working with the world’s leading technology companies and content providers to harness information and communication technologies (ICT) - engaging young people in connecting, learning and sharing information and ideas. Silatech’s emerging technology platform will enable information and services delivery on a significantly greater scale, both electronically and through local providers. The platform will also provide “youth-friendly” Arabic, French and English content to develop skills, and links to financial and business development services, coaching and job placement opportunities.
Every Silatech activity and all country-level initiatives are outcome-based and directly tie to these three strategic goals:
Strategic Goal #1 - Mindset
Improve society’s recognition and support for young people’s contribution to economic and social capital.
Strategic Goal #2 - Policy
Promote adoption of policies to stimulate increased employment and economic opportunities for young people and social inclusion.
Strategic Goal #3 - Access
Improve young people’s access to demand driven and market-oriented skills training and job placement services.
Improve micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises’ (MSMEs) access to capital, business development services and markets.
Silatech's Knowledge Consortium is made up of leading academics, economists and practitioners in the field of employment representing regional and global institutions. The Knowledge Consortium is primarily focused on the policy and mindset components of Silatech's three strategic goals. It aims to contribute to the current conversation and initiatives that work to promote the employment of young people in the MENA region.The Consortium includes the World Bank, the International Labor Organization (ILO) the Middle East Youth Initiative of the Dubai School of Government and the Brookings Institution, the Nike Foundation, the Essam Fares Institute of the American University of Beirut and the Gallup organization among others.
The Silatech Index
Silatech and Gallup unveil their ground breaking report The Silatech Index: Voices of Young Arabs, the first comprehensive poll of youth aged 15 to 29 in the 19 League of Arab States to focus on:
- their outlook and that of society on the subject of job creation;
- their access to the many things they need to find a job; and
- the obstacles they see in the way of their success.
The Taqeem Initiative is a collaboration between Silatech, Wolfensohn Center for Development at Brookings and the Dubai School of Government. Taqeem focuses on impact evaluation and innovative research to generate new solutions to youth challenges by linking effective policy, sound knowledge and smart investment. The initiative employs a holistic and integrated approach working with public and private stakeholders on regional, national, and local levels.