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Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of the innovators and job creators, who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.

These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors—introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities. Millions who had never before considered launching their own ventures soak up advice and inspiration from the likes of Richard Branson, Michael Dell and Muhammad Yunus

On 25th October 2017  iRise hub in collaboration with Shaqodoon Organization conducted entrepreneurship training and competition for young students from four universities in Mogadishu to take part in the Global Entrepreneurship Week Somalia that will be held in Mogadishu.

IRise hub provided a platform for the team’s graduation projects to be transformed to startups and business enterprises. We took them through a 5 day design thinking boot camp to teach various aspects on how to build a product and service that fits into market, branding and marketing and how to pitch to an investor.

Furthermore, the teams managed to get help in marketing and branding for the DEMO day. The four team did well in re-branding their projects and pivoting it to become a business that is ready for investment.

The training was instructed in Somali language, allowing students to interact and exchange with trainers and understanding every step of the Stanford design thinking process.

The DEMO day was on Wednesday 29th 2017 and was held at Afrik Hotel located at KM4 Mogadishu. The event was attended by more than 200 people and graced by government officials, university representatives, civil society and university students.

The startups pitched in front of a panel of experts. Professor Yasin M. Barqadle Senior Vice President Academic affairs,City University,Awil Osman,CEO and co-founder of iRise hub and Abdulqadir Hassan Nuur,Real Investment Manager,Premier Bank Somalia. The experts analyzed the pitching and the business viability of the startups and ranked the startups the following:

E-badeeco, a multipurpose cloud based inventory platform for retail stores. It provides seamless management for multiple stores and can be easily integrated into 3rd party hardware and software.

Zakeeye, a real time Zakat calculation and payment platform. The service delivers precise and correct calculation of your Zakat. The service is integrated with the Islamic sharia

E-codeey: A secure and simple multipurpose real time online voting platform. It’s both web and sms based. It can be used for university, regional and national elections. It can also be used for polls and surveys by private, public and civil society organizations.

Holie is a wireless enabled lock system that enables home owners open and locks their doors using their phone. The hardware can be integrated into doors that are locally made or imported.

E-badeeco emerged to be the winner of the Global Entrepreneurship Week Somalia 2017 DEMO day and has been awarded $3000. The team received applause from the crowd and everyone in the hall took pictures with them and offered their personal congratulations.

The winner of the competition, e-badeeco will be incubated at iRise hub to continue improving their product and increase their market traction.

While this was our first time to coordinate a similar event, we are committed to continue and equip and mentor these startups into more sustainable businesses that create job opportunities and compete at global level. In doing so, we are launch a new tailored incubation program for the existing startups in Mogadishu. The incubation program will start in January 2018 and the call of application will be launched soon.

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About Project:

UPSHIFT is a youth social innovation programme developed by UNICEF Innovation under the Generation Unlimited UNICEF vision.

UPSHIFT combines leading approaches to youth and adolescent development with private sector best practice (human-centred design), to empower marginalised young people identify and design entrepreneurial solutions to challenges in their communities. The approach combines social innovation workshops with mentorship and seed funding and is tailored to reach the most marginalised.

Young people gain skills for life and for employment. Perhaps most importantly, UPSHIFT positively impacts the wider community through the indirect benefits of the products and services that young people design. Additionally this contributes to changing perceptions of young people as positive change agents, rather than a problem to be solved.

Problem Statement

With a population of 12,316,895 people and a significant youth and adolescent proportion forming a huge youth bulge, Somalia faces an unprecedented challenge in addressing the youth and adolescent needs of the people in a complex context where conflict, natural disasters and climate change divert resources from the needs of this important cohort of the population. Just under half (45.6%) of the population is less than 15 years old, while three- quarters (75%) of the population is less than 30 years old.

Youth unemployment in Somalia is high, with only an estimated 27% of youth employed (58% male and 42% female), while the majority of the employed (70%) are in the primary sector that is agriculture, forestry and fisheries. An overwhelming majority (69 percent) of 2,685 males and females in the Somali region, including South Central Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland, surveyed by the Heritage Institute mentioned either the lack of opportunities (48 percent) or the poor economic situation of families (21 percent) as key reasons for out-migration.

Project Aim:

project aims at providing skills and innovative opportunities to the youth in Somaliland, Puntland and Greater Somalia


iRise hub in collaboration with UNICEF and DOT has implemented two social innovation bootcamp in Mogadishu. Bootcamp that took place from November 2019 and january 2020 at the Airport Hotel in Mogadishu.

A Total of 100 changemakers are participated and worked with facilitators from DOT S.Coop and iRise HUB, created 16 teams comprised of 4 to 6 members and developed social innovation ideas around food security, peace and justice, livable cities, clean water and sanitation, quality education, unemployment/economic growth and health & wellbeing.

In attendance during the opening and closing sessions ceremony were UNICEF representatives, Government (both FGS and Banadir Municipality) & private sector officials (From commercial banks to small and medium enterprises) who challenged the youth to build their future through innovative ideas and also work hard and come up with solutions.The debate covered issues such us, youth empowerment, innovation, thinking out of the box, engagement to community and collaboration.

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Youth Employability and Access to Finance

About the project

GEEL and iRise hub initiative is to provide a platform that Connect Youth Entrepreneurs to investors that will eventually create a job opportunity for the youth and boost the local economy of the country. This project aims to create job opportunities for the youth, this will be done through entrepreneurship and in powering Start-ups / SMEs by giving mentorship support, investment, and a platform to showcasing their products and services. iRise hub has a special unique business incubator called kobciye that provides mentorship and seed investment to the start-ups and also provides other amenities such as co-working space, training venue and meeting room. Our qualified consultants / Mentors that gave them clarity and confidence to attract funds and raise capital to launch, grow and scale their business, project or idea.


iRise hub implemented a three month long mentorship program for 20 businesses , mainly focused on agriculture, livestock, fishery and renewable energy. We provided a full fledged business development service from branding to developing investable business plans. During their mentorship program they discovered how to attract capital to grow their business.

Impact of the program

More than 20 businesses have received one-one mentorship along with in-kind support in collaboration with the private banks such as premier and IBS bank. During their mentorship we helped them to develop investment readiness documents for their business in order to become investment ready. 20 out of 10 have been able successfully raise funds and scale their business.

After a few months Sadra beauty has been able to launch their business. Sadra beauty is a locally-made company that provides natural cosmetic products for young people.

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About Project: The training was part of the efforts of a Mercy corps initiative attempting to improve Economic Development and Livelihood by building the skills and capacities of the Somali youth towards meaningful employment in the productive sector and more specifically to help the youth to create a new business.

Project Aim: The main objective behind the business development training is to get the participants to learn the essential business skill from start to end and what’s in between. This will help the participants to start their businesses in the productive sector or get a job in the sector. Along with that, the participants needed to understand, define and find out the challenges their community is facing, ultimately to come up with innovative solutions that tackle the challenge and make a business out of it. Then, further, facilitate and train the participants on how to build teams, Business modeling, Marketing strategy, financial modeling, Branding, and pitching business ideas to the potential Investor or Business partner.
Specific objectives:

  1. To Support and to improve productivity and competitiveness of the productive sectors in the Adado District.
  2. To create opportunities for youth, women, and men by employing a combination of skills development, financing facility, technical and business support.
  3. To promote employment and enterprise development within the productive sectors.

Implementation: iRise Hub has implemented several training on (CATALYZING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND LIVELIHOOD IN BALCAD AND ADADO). The first one was a five-day training for 40 participants in Adado. The training took place at GreenHouse Conference Hall from 22th – 26th September 2019. The second was five-day training for 30 Small Business Owners in Balcad. The training took place at Balcad Secondary School Conference Hall from 3rd – 7th November 2019. The third was 3-day training for 30 small Business Owners in Adado. The training took place at GreenHouse hotel from 8th-10th March 2020.

(The Video of the Program.)

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Mogadishu Watt

Open innovation challenge to create solutions for access to sustainable and affordable energy in Somalia.

An estimated 9 million Somalis survive every day without access to electricity; approximately 85% of the population. Somalia has one of the world’s highest electricity prices. Electricity is largely produced by diesel generators and some renewable energy.

Mogadishu Watt is an open innovation challenge for young innovators to come up new ideas or solutions that tackle energy challenge in Somalia.

iRise Hub, in partnership with the World Bank, has launched an open innovation challenge to find ideas that can improve access to clean and affordable energy in Somalia.

The Focus areas for the Mogadishu Watt Innovation Challenge were to unearth and support energy innovators across Somalia who may have solutions that:

  • Deliver affordable, reliable and sustainable energy through new sources
  • Use innovative business models to improve access to clean energy
  • Use creative financing models to increase access to clean energy
  • Reduce energy wastage across the value chain
  • Save cost for producers, distributors or consumers of energy

We launched the call for application on 27th May and closed on 17th June 2018. We received 100+ applications from interested parties including smart energy experts, software developers, technicians, product designers, and innovators. We held two information sessions at our hub to give the applicants and interested parties a glimpse of what the programme is all about and answer their questions. The sessions also helped us in networking and formation of diverse teams that can tackle the challenges and build solutions that are affordable and accessible.

After a successful campaign and interviews, we selected six teams of four each to take part in the hackathon. We have been joined by our well-curate team of mentors and judges to give the teams the advice they need and motivations.

After 3 intensive days of hacking and spending late at the Hub. We reached the DEMO day which was on Thursday evening. The stage was set and the participants were ready to pitch their solutions to the panel of judges.

The startups were 5 minutes to pitch their business and the judges started asking questions on various aspects of their startup including the pricing of their products, competition, target market, originality of the idea etc.

After the pitching ended, the judges shared with us the comments, gave feedback to the pitchers and announced the winner of Mogadishu watt which was Bulsho bile, a startup that offers solar equipment and access to energy to IDPs & other poor families using the pay-as-you-go model. They provide easier access to energy by empowering ownership. They have been awarded $3000 cheque which is a non-financial commitment from iRisehub and the World Bank to support the startup for 3 months with office space, business development service, product development and access to investment either through angel investing or venture.

The other startups that pitched include,

Solar Remitt is a startup that provides access to energy to Somali families that receive money via remittance which accounts to 23% of the GDP of Somalia.

Solar Farm is a startup that provides access to energy to farmers & pastoralists in #somalia using a modern financial model. They allow them to adopt solar energy setups & pay in installment.

Dankeyd is a startup that provides a hardware solution to monitor energy usage in homes and businesses. The users can control the appliances to minimize the energy usage.

Beso Pay offers a web and mobile application platform to collect payments from electricity consumers to ease the inconvenience & high cost. This bridges & increase revenue, access and accountability in the payment processing.

RESWA: is a startup that provides a hybrid source of energy using solar and wind. This allows an abundant source of energy that is clean, accessible & affordable.

iRise hub will continue supporting the other startups which office space and needed consultation and connect them to partners and other service providers for collaboration.

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About the Project:

The training was part of the efforts of an UN-HABITAT initiative attempting to improve the skills and capacities of the Somali youth towards meaningful employment in the service sector and more specifically in the construction sector or to help them start a new business.

Project Aim:

As an integral part of Project RAJO, the ICT training module is to provide youth with digital literacy and introduce them to programming. Then, further, facilitate and train the participants on how to build teams, business modeling, identity design, and branding and pitching to potential investors or business partners. This will help the participants to start their own businesses in the construction sector or get a job in the sector.

Specific objectives:

  • To equip participants with knowledge and skills on how to code and build a website.
  • To introduce the participants on how to build a brand identity for a startup.
  • To help participants build solutions relevant to the construction
  • To provide a platform for the participants to present and pitch their startups in front of their peers and experts.


iRise Hub has implemented three times for BOOTCAMP & HACKATH in different states. The first one was a 4-day Bootcamp and Hackathon for 20 participants (13 female and 7 male) selected from the 100 youth that participated in the previous training in Garowe. The second was a One Day Bootcamp and 3 Days Hackathon for 20 participants (6 female and 14 male) selected from the 100 youth that participated in the previous training in Kismayo. The third was One Day Bootcamp and 3 Days Hackathon for 30 participants (14 female, 16 male) selected from the 100 youth that participated in the previous training in Mogadishu.

The impact:

BOOTCAMP & HACKATH has implemented three different regions which are Garowe, Kismayo, and Mogadishu and participated in a total number of 230 youth that includes male and female.