Ashoka ِArab World Announces 4 New Social Innovators As Its Fellows!


ashoka-logoCairo, Egypt: Ashoka Arab World, the platform for social entrepreneurship and innovation in the Arab world, is proud to announce the election of four new Arab social entrepreneurs into its Fellowship program: Radwa Rostom from Egypt, Mustapha Jazar from Lebanon, Leila Ben Gacem from Tunisia and Muhammed Al-Bakri from Saudi Arabia.

With a strong belief in our Fellows’ system-changing ideas, and confidence in the positive impact they have, and will continue to have, on society, Ashoka will be providing  its Fellows with a range of tailored services, supporting him/her in his/her efforts to scale up the impact of his/her work, and helping him/her develop their idea further.

– Radwa Rostom is revolutionizing access to low-cost housing. Her approach combines innovation in design, construction, financing and community involvement to reduce residential construction costs by 50% or more. She is also changing mindsets towards building environmentally friendly houses by using local materials.

– Through LASeR Mustapha Jazar is creating a process that recruits the best talents from societies where institutions cannot do it themselves, and focuses these talents on addressing their societies’ biggest issues and opportunities.

– Leila Ben Gacem is creating and growing a grassroots movement led by youth and heritage entrepreneurs to restore the vibrancy of the Medina of Tunis and hopes throughout whole Tunisia. She is doing this through creating an economic dynamic that speaks true to its heritage and increases the cultural confidence of the people in their own country.

– Muhammad Al-Bakri aims to prevent the re-production of poverty in the Saudi Arabian society by shifting the mindset of Saudi philanthropy from charity to social entrepreneurship. He is promoting the philosophy of sustainable development that not only ends the near total reliance on charity but also incentivizes social entrepreneurship and the teaching of empathy, teamwork, leadership and change making to the country’s youth.

Ashoka’s global community includes more than 3000 social entrepreneurs, similar to the above mentioned Fellows from all over the world.

“Fellows are chosen based on five main criteria” Dr. Iman Bibars, Vice President of Ashoka Global and Regional Director of Ashoka Arab World explains, “innovative ideas, demonstrated creativity, entrepreneurial qualities, clear social impact, and ethical fiber”.

You can help us to identify additional social entrepreneurs for the Ashoka Fellowship, by emailing us at

Ashoka is an established community of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs – men and women with system-changing solutions to global social ills. Since 1981, Ashoka has sourced the best social innovations, supporting over 3,000 entrepreneurs through the provision of technical assistance, financial stipends, and professional support, mobilized thousands of people to create change, and enabled businesses, the media, policy makers and “Changemakers” to work together to help contribute to the eradication of the world’s most pressing social challenges.

Ashoka Arab World (AAW) is a regional branch of Ashoka. Established in 2003, AAW has, to date, elected 90 leading social entrepreneurs in 11 Arab countries into the global Fellowship program. These social entrepreneurs (Ashoka Fellows) work in various sectors, including environmental conservation, urban planning, health service accessibility, child and youth empowerment, civic engagement, women’s empowerment, education, income generation and plenty more. Using our highly collaborative approach, designed to unite and pool the resources of key stakeholders from different sectors, our Fellows are able to professionalize their initiatives, maximize their impact, and scale and replicate their models, all with the support of partners from the public, private, and government sectors.