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Platform seeks to boost small businesses by connecting Kingdom's mentors, entrepreneurs


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The international humanitarian organisation Mercy Corps on Sunday held a speed-mentoring event for business entrepreneurs and mentors to raise awareness about their recently launched MicroMentor platform.
Launched in 2009 in the US, MicroMentor is a free social network that connects entrepreneurs to volunteer business mentors. The platform is now available in 179 countries, reaching 69,000 entrepreneurs and 25,000 mentors, according to Mercy Corps.
The MicroMentor platform was officially launched in Jordan in April 2019 and will be made available in Arabic in January 2020.
“Bringing the platform to Jordan was our first step in bringing it to the region,” said Kari Diener, country director for Mercy Corps in Jordan.
“This platform is the first one of its type in Jordan. It democratises mentoring and allows people, including people in remote areas, to access mentors in Jordan, in the region and, of course, globally,” the director said.
“The aim here in Jordan is to target small and micro entrepreneurs, including home-based businesses,” she said, adding that, while Amman is a large hub for entrepreneurial and networking activity, there is "so much potential" in other cities around the Kingdom, including Irbid, Mafraq, Karak, Maan and Tafileh.
“Our goal is for MicroMentor to become popular all around Jordan and the region, and the language barrier is a hindrance against that. So that is why we are going to launch a fully localised, fully Arabic platform in January next year,” said Khaleel Najjar, the programme manager for MicroMentor Jordan. 
“Think of someone who wants to open a small shop in Mafraq; think of a home-based business opened by a lady in Ajloun who wants to sell her product. Those are in need of mentoring more than anybody else, because they want advice that helps them to survive and get access to a decent economic opportunity,” he added.
Since 2003, Mercy Corps has been working to support Jordanians as well as Syrian refugees. “Our programs strive to meet basic needs, build strong and engaged communities, increase economic opportunities and promote growth that also protects scarce natural resources,” the organisation says on its website.

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