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Challenges and Opportunities for Impact-Driven Entrepreneurs at the AMWAJ 2016

We were invited at the AMWAJ 2016 to join a panel on Challenges and Opportunities for Impact-Driven Entrepreneurs in Amman, Jordan.
Published on Jan 27, 2017

SwitchMed was invited to participate at the AMWAJ 2016, a global sustainability and entrepreneurship forum, organized by PepsiCo and Revolve. The Forum, that took place on November 28-29 in Amman (Jordan) focused on discussing innovations that make a difference to the society, sharing best practices in the social sphere, and finding ways to build “a sustainable future in the MENA region.” With spotlight on socially-responsible use of resources such as water and energy, the event’s agenda featured talks, workshops, and field trips on topics ranging from youth engagement in sustainability, MENA social entrepreneurship, role of the media in driving sustainability, and others. The forum hosted leaders from private and public sectors, professionals in environmental sustainability, and social entrepreneurs among others.

Daniel Hires, SwitchMed Project Manager looking after The Switchers community of mid-stage green entrepreneurs in the MENA region, joined a panel on Challenges and Opportunities for Impact-Driven Entrepreneurs at AMWAJ. Moderated by one of 10 Local SDGs Pioneers of UN Global Compact, Dina Sherif, the co-founder and CEO at Ahead of the Curve, Daniel joined other panelists such as Abdallah Abdi, founder of the crowdfunding platform Zoomal, and entrepreneurs from the health and education field, to discuss experiences with supporting impact entrepreneurs with solving challenges effectively, which opportunities exist, and how to design environments and ecosystems that can help them thrive.

As part of the AMWAJ 2016, PepsiCo and WAMDA organized PepsiCo Social Impact Competition, a social entrepreneurship challenge to award MENA-based startups that develop solutions with a “triple bottom line” of profitability, sustainability, and social impact. Ten finalists were selected from more than 100 submissions to advance into final stage of the competition. The winners were announced during the Gala Diner: the first prize, worth US$10,000 was given to Napata, an Egyptian startup that manufactures handmade and traditional products from palm waste. The Tunisia’s Green Alafco, a startup that recycles aluminum with the help of the waste pickers network, placed second, winning US$6,000. In third place was the Lebanese startup Pathfinder.

¨Media in the MENA region writing stories related to sustainability, green growth and eco-innovation were very excited about the SwitchMed Programme¨ explained Roser Gasol, the SwitchMed Communications Manager. ¨These kinds of events are an excellent opportunity for us to disseminate our activities supporting and connecting stakeholders to scale up eco and social innovations in the Mediterranean. AMWAJ 2016 also helped us to understand more the role and challenges for media in tackling environmental issues¨. 

At the Forum, the 2016 Revolve Water Around the Mediterranean report was launched. It explores how countries in the Mediterranean and Middle East are coping with a growing water crisis. With in-depth articles that are accompanied by maps, infographics and other visuals, the report provides a local perspective on pressing regional issues. For further information visit

Further information at