MENA-Michigan Initiative for Global Action Through Entrepreneurship Program 2018, USA

Publish Date: Nov 09, 2017

Deadline: Dec 01, 2017

MENA-Michigan Initiative for Global Action Through Entrepreneurship (M2GATE)

The goal of the MENA-Michigan Initiative for Global Action Through Entrepreneurship (M2GATE) program being implemented by WDI is to build marketable global competencies of MENA- and Michigan-based youth through project-based, cross-cultural learning and action. The program will focus on the following global competencies: cross-cultural collaboration and communication; critical thinking and adopting diverse perspectives; and the ability to engage in key civic and global issues. In addition to these, students will also develop marketable skills and knowledge in the areas of social entrepreneurship and STEM. This project-based program combines virtual training in English and Arabic, and virtual and in-person mentoring and instructional support. 

Students from the MENA region and Michigan will form teams that will identify a social challenge in the MENA region. Through the program’s instructional modules, teams will learn how to approach this challenge and create and pitch an entrepreneurial solution. WDI will connect students to a global community of social entrepreneurs and disseminate the teams’ solutions. Each cohort will culminate in a virtual competition; the winners will be offered a trip to Michigan to meet their Michigan-based teammates, interact with entrepreneurs in Ann Arbor and Detroit, and pitch their projects to an expert panel for feedback and further development.


This program is open to post-secondary (undergraduate) students aged 18-25 from Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia (or refugees currently residing in one of these four countries) or the University of Michigan (USA) Ann Arbor or Dearborn campuses. We encourage applicants from a variety of disciplines – including Engineering, Business, Healthcare, and Liberal Arts – to apply. We expect all U.S. students to be from the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses. The program will target 50% women, and will deliberately engage a diverse population including refugees and people with disabilities. 


The program will run August 2017 – December 2018, and over that time will support three cohorts of 192 students (a total of 576), organized in 32 teams of six students each – four from MENA schools (from the same country though not necessarily the same school) and two from the University of Michigan. The program will include 128 MENA-based students per cohort, with a total number of 384. Each cohort will be eight weeks long: 

  • Cohort 1: 26 January - 16 March 2018
  • Cohort 2: 6 April - 8 June 2018
  • Cohort 3: 25 May - 20 July 2018 

Curriculum. The M 2GATE program includes the following curriculum modules:

  • Cross-cultural Team-building
  • Leadership Development
  • Communication Skills 
  • Design Thinking & Creative Inquiry
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • Business Model Canvas 

Program Partners in the MENA Region 

  • Egypt: The Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University
  • Libya: Benghazi Youth for Technology and Entrepreneurship (BYTE)
  • Morocco: Al Akhawayn University
  • Tunisia: Tunis Business School at Tunis University

Expectations for Students 

This program will require around 32 hours of a student’s time over the eight-week cohort. This includes the orientation, the six curriculum modules, a debrief session, and time for virtual group work, including work on the final pitch video. Each student will be expected to schedule virtual meetings with their teams. Students in the MENA region will be expected to attend in-person sessions with their teammates at the schools above, to the extent possible. Students who are admitted are expected to complete the program’s requirements. There is no cost to participate.

Benefits for Students

This program is a unique noncredit, co-curricular opportunity focused on social entrepreneurship, STEM, and project-based learning. The program will: 

  • Strengthen students’ entrepreneurship, team-building, cross-cultural communication, and critical thinking skills.
  • Afford students the opportunity to gain international business experience.
  • Enhance students’ real-world problem-solving skills with people from other countries.
  • Develop students’ innovation and design thinking skills.
  • Build students’ credentials and employability. 

Application, Contact & Information 

Interested students may visit the M 2GATE program website. Here, they will find more information and the program application. Please direct all other queries about the program or requests for program updates to

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United States