The Youth Company, an organisation established to inspire and empower young people throughout Qatar, is developing a number of firsts in the country as part of its programmes for local youth.
The company, which was established in December last year by its 20-year-old CEO, Mohamed Farid, a student at Qatar Foundation, is the first youth social enterprise in the Middle East. It has already organised various training programmes as well as networking events and other initiatives.
Its activities have already garnered a great deal of support from young people, with some 16,000 signing up to their database and taking part in various events.
A major aspect of the company’s work is the Youth Empowerment and Success Services (YESS) initiative, involving a number of different areas of development.
The programme involves the launch of a student youth card, called a You card, which will enable young people to get discounts at various shops and on services at companies that place a particular value on a youthful outlook.
The card is run as a sort of reward programme and participants gain points through taking part in training and development sessions to move them through the levels of the basic, silver, gold and eventually the platinum cards.
The company’s training programmes focus on global citizenship, management and skills development, which help provide a basic foundation for the company’s “interns” as they are known.
This feeds into specialised training programmes focused in areas specified by participants through a consultation process.
“This is an opportunity for us and other companies to motivate youth and give them access to more services,” said Farid, explaining that many businesses are already on board with the card, which is set to be launched next month.
The youth company is also launching the Qatar Youth Awards this month, which will see companies being honoured for their efforts to invest in and encourage young people in various different sectors.
Including awards in 10 different sector categories, as well as three initiative categories, the awards will highlight companies’ efforts to invest in youth in their own businesses and also any awareness or outreach programmes in which they have been involved.
Farid explained that companies could apply to be considered for an award, or they could be nominated for the prizes, dependent on meeting a number of specific requirements.
“The awards are about identifying, showcasing and promoting Qatar’s most youthful companies, NGOs and governmental institutions,” said Farid.
The application process for the awards opens on August 10 and closes on October 10. The final list of companies vying for the awards will be published on October 15, leaving young people in Qatar the chance to vote for their favourites until November 5. Winners will be presented awards at a gala dinner on November 12.
The company will also be launching its “Youth Change Everything Campaign” next month during which a wide selection of events will be held.
“The events are about learning and fun, and about getting young people together to network and share experiences,” said Farid.
“We want to raise awareness of youth empowerment and to highlight success stories we have seen from young people in Qatar,” he added.
While many companies attempt to promote a young image through their marketing or advertising, there are few that are wholeheartedly committed to empowering young people in everything that they do.
Anyone interested in being part of its work can contact [email protected]