GE volunteers keep spirit of youth entrepreneur
GE Volunteers are leading a range of INJAZ programs, despite COVID-19.
Dubai–– As the UAE focuses on nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship in young people, GE Volunteers are empowering them with a continuing program of online courses. They are working in partnership with INJAZ UAE, the local arm of INJAZ Al Arab, a member of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, the largest non-profit business education organization globally.
GE Volunteers are leading a range of INJAZ programs that focus on three pillars: workforce readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. Since April, when training moved from in-person to online due to the pandemic, nearly 30 GE Volunteers have contributed more than 160 hours leading dozens of INJAZ programs at schools in the UAE.
Mohaned Eltayeb, a senior director with GE Gas Power, is mentoring 12 students from Al Khaleej National School in Dubai as they set up and operate their own start-up business. The students are participants in INJAZ UAE’s ‘Company Program,’ a 15-week curriculum designed to give young people real-life experience with entrepreneurship while working with a seasoned professional. During weekly video workshops, he serves as an advisor to the group, providing guidance, making suggestions, and generally offering his experience, as the teens work to launch their business venture.
“For me, the biggest part of being an INJAZ volunteer is seeing the impact of these programs on the students and their potential life choices. You’re planting a seed at this early stage. You’re helping ignite a spark, showing them what range of possibilities exists,” said Mohaned.
JA Worldwide has developed a range of curricula designed for students from first grade to university level. Programs can be months long, such as the Company Program; day-long activities, such as an Innovation Day Camp; or shorter courses and workshops.
The shorter programs usually run over three, four, or six sessions and last several weeks. Topics include Steer Your Career, Career Success, Entrepreneurship Masterclass, Personal Finance, and More than Money. There are even financial literacy classes for elementary school students.
Razan Bashiti, CEO of INJAZ UAE, said: “Students like to have someone new come into school – in person, or virtually. It’s a change from the traditional class; plus, it’s special to meet people from the real world who are sharing their personal and professional experiences. It’s very enriching for students. With COVID-19, the overall needs haven’t changed but there is greater interest in financial literacy courses. While the shift to online wasn’t easy, the quality of the volunteers we’ve been onboarding ensures the students continue to have many impactful learning experiences.”
GE is a member of the regional Injaz Al Arab board and globally has representation on the Junior Achievement board, working to inspire the next generation. GE has earlier partnered to deliver the JA Success Skills program, an experience that led GE Volunteers to continuously mentor at Injaz UAE Innovation Camps.
GE Volunteers facilitate volunteering activities that improve life and meet critical needs in the communities where GE people live and work around the world. These activities are carried out through a range of projects in health, education, environment, and community-building.