The MENA Scholarship Program Launches for Jordanians, Palestinians and Saudi Arabians

The MENA Scholarship Program, now in its sixth year, has just recently launched the program’s application website available to Jordanian, Palestinian and Saudi Arabian university students studying in their respective countries. In addition to the Middle Eastern nationalities, the MENA Scholarship Program, a partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and the U.S. Department of State, will also see Algerian, Egyptian, Moroccan and Tunisian students participating in the 2017 edition of the program.

The budding entrepreneurs will enjoy an intensive accelerated curriculum with faculty members at the prestigious Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, one of the top-ranked business programs in the U.S., before participating in a business plan competition to demonstrate the skills learned throughout the program. In 2016, a team comprising of Jordanians was awarded the top award in the business plan competition for an idea focused on creating more work spaces for Jordanian students.

Jordanian and Palestinian students have participated in the program since its inception in 2012 and, to date, boasts almost 60 Jordanian alumni and 60 Palestinian alumni. The 2017 edition will also include students from Saudi Arabia for the first time ever in program history. Jordanian and Palestinian alumni have started various businesses across multiple fields, some which focus on water conservation, architectural design, and educational systems. Many alumni have also received additional scholarships to pursue their graduate studies after returning from the program.

The application website, which can be found at https://scholarship.coca-cola.com, asks participants to submit a business idea to “Make Tomorrow Better” in their home countries.  The website also encourages users to either submit a business idea or vote for which idea they believe is the best. This voting aspect creates a public forum for the people of the participating countries to take ownership and vote for what they believe would truly have the greatest impact in their countries. The top 25 ideas generating the most votes along with another 75-100 hand-selected ideas based on strength determined by the program’s team will be awarded the opportunity to complete a more formal application. The participating US Embassies and Consulates will review and select the final scholarship winners.

Talking about the program, Murat Ozgel, General Manager of Coca-Cola Middle East, said “the MENA region has an incredibly young and fast-growing population, and empowering the region’s youth will be essential to ensuring long-term economic and social prosperity.  The Coca-Cola Company has a deep commitment to each of the local communities in which we operate and we are delighted to be welcoming the latest group of young entrepreneurs and their ambitions to “Make Tomorrow Better”.”

While the application phase has just launched, the program is set to begin in late-June and will run through late-July. Please take a few minutes and view the following video which gives the Coke Scholars from the 2016 edition of the MENA Scholarship Program a chance to speak about the program in their own words - https://vimeo.com/188728644.

Over the months leading up to, during and directly following the program, we will continue to share stories and experiences from our Jordanian and Palestinian program alumni, as well as this year’s Middle Eastern scholars, to give everyone an inside look into the MENA Scholarship Program, a life-changing initiative aiming to provide opportunities for those coming from territories where opportunities are limited.

If you have any additional questions about this program, please reach out to Christopher Nelson at christophernelson@coca-cola.com