SPARK, together with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, contributes with this project to job creation for Syrian, Palestinian and Jordanian youth, by supporting existing MSMEs and start-ups. We aim to unlock the growth potential of Jordanian MSME’s, to contribute to the generation of much needed growth in the ailing Jordanian economy. This can be done through breaking down barriers to MSME growth, including the lack of entrepreneurial, innovation and management skills; facilitating access to finance, technology and new markets.
The employability of Syrian, Palestinian and Jordanian youth can increase through the introduction and improvement of entrepreneurship education and mandatory internships in higher education institutions. In addition, SPARK technically prepares and motivates young Syrians, Palestinians and Jordanians for an active role in the future reconstruction of Syria.
Jordan’s economy has struggled to achieve significant growth in recent years due to a number of external and internal factors. However, Jordan’s business base is what is believed to ultimately lead recovery in the economy. Jordan is a middle-income country with a strong potential of growth, and a small but relatively young population of around 9.5 million (Youth account for around 21.5% of the population, while youth unemployment is around 31%).
Jordan enjoys a lively MSME ecosystem in which micro, small and medium enterprises employ around 70% of the workforce, which can act as the greatest potential for sustainable growth.
Moreover, the five-year long Syrian Civil War has left millions of Syrians with no choice but to leave their homes, precipitating refugee crisis of epic proportions that has knock-on effects beyond the region. There are now 4.8 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, of which 655,895 people (round 13%) of those refugees flee to Jordan. SPARK’s response has been to work on projects aiming to enable these thousands of young Syrian men and women to develop their skills, and to use these in the future to rebuild their country.