14 students from Jordan depart for fifth annual Coca-Cola MENA Scholarship Program at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business

Jordan, June 20, 2016 – The Coca-Cola Company, U.S. Department of State and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business are set to welcome the 100 aspiring entrepreneurs chosen for the fifth annual Coca-Cola MENA Scholarship Program. The scholars chosen include 14 Jordanian students visiting from universities in Jordan, to join others from across the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) at Indiana University’s Global Business Institute. 

The future leaders were selected from over 6,000 applicants across seven countries. They will experience a month-long world-class education program in the United States, focused on developing business and social entrepreneurship skills to help realize their start-up dreams.

Alongside Jordanian students, the 2016 Coca-Cola MENA Scholarship Program, developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and Kelley School of Business’ Global Business Institute, will host 100 Algerians, Egyptians, Moroccans, Palestinians, Pakistanis and Tunisians. Although the MENA Scholarship Program is just a few years old, the word about the benefits of the program has spread and in the past 2 years there were more than 1,000 applicants from Jordan alone. Since the creation of the MENA Scholarship Program in 2012, 41 students have completed the program and returned to Jordan.

The 100 future entrepreneurs participating in this year’s program were chosen following a rigorous selection process after submitting a business idea to ‘Make Tomorrow Better’ in their home countries.  Applicants contributed more than 6,000 ideas to an online platform which was visited by more than 1.6 million registered users across MENA. Each visitor could vote for their favorite concepts, to help decide which applicants would progress.  From a shorter list of 800 ideas, the successful students were selected by program partners at the US Embassies and Consulates in each of the participating countries.

“The Middle East and North Africa region has an incredibly young and fast-growing population, and empowering the aspirations of the region’s youth will be essential to ensuring long-term economic and social prosperity,” said Curt Ferguson, President of Middle East and North Africa, The Coca-Cola Company.  “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 our latest group of young entrepreneurs, each with inspiring ideas to ‘Make Tomorrow Better’.

During July 2016, the students will spend four weeks studying with the faculty at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. The curriculum has been tailored to develop each entrepreneur’s talents, teaching them to use business and social entrepreneurship skills to address consumer and societal needs in their home countries.  The program concludes with a business plan competition, before students are hosted at the U.S. Department of State and Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. They will then travel to Atlanta, Georgia to visit The Coca-Cola Company’s headquarters.

“This program represents the best of what the United States has to offer -- a partnership between a private sector leader and an American icon, Coca Cola, the expertise of U.S. higher education, the Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, and the support of the U.S. Government. We have sent over 40 young Jordanian entrepreneurs on this program since 2012, “ said Ambassador Alice G. Wells, United States Ambassador to Jordan. “We believe entrepreneurship, and the growth of the private sector hold the keys to Jordan’s economic vitality.  We are not alone in our belief, the Jordanian government champions the private sector for the same reasons we do.”

To encourage student engagement and participation, the 100 MENA young entrepreneurs will be divided into small groups of five during instructional portions of the program. Each group will work with the same Kelley School of Business faculty members throughout the duration of the Indiana University program. Courses include an introduction to business, communications, finance, accounting, marketing, operations, strategy, human resources and entrepreneurship, with a wide variety of instructional, interactive and experiential sessions.

 “Over the past five years we have welcomed almost 400 incredibly talented young people with great vision at the Global Business Institute who we have had the pleasure of both teaching and learning from during our time together,” said Idie Kesner, Dean of Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. “The curriculum has been deliberately designed to expose the students to US business practice and culture, and to build connections across their respective countries, equipping them to compete in a hyper-connected world. We are excited to meet the next generation of future leaders from this vibrant region and to host them here at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, home to one of the most respected entrepreneurship programs in the United States.”

Coca-Cola MENA Scholarship Program alumni have created businesses in a variety of sectors including enterprise technology, hospitality, digital media, and tourism. Whatever their area of focus, each entrepreneur has followed the same aim of “Making Tomorrow Better” in their home country.

Notes to editors


About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands and more than 3,800 beverage choices. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands, 18 of which are available in reduced-, low- or no-calorie options. Our billion-dollar brands include Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dasani, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Del Valle, Georgia and Gold Peak. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, we are the No. 1 provider of both sparkling and still beverages. More than 1.9 billion servings of our beverages are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200 countries each day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.

About The US Department of State

The Global Business Institute Scholarship embodies the State Department’s commitment to entrepreneurship, business development and investing in the people of the Middle East and North Africa.  In partnership with the Coca Cola Company, we are proud to support the new generation of entrepreneurs in the region, who are innovative in creating businesses and jobs to meet the demands of transforming world economies.  Through scholarships like this, we hope to equip young people with the skills they need to develop successful businesses in their home countries.  The Global Business Institute is an concrete example of how government and business can cooperate to spread the best of American business practices and skills to countries around the world, and help talented young people join the global economy as it launches forward.

About Indiana University Kelley School of Business

For 90 years -- first in Bloomington and later in Indianapolis -- IU's Kelley School of Business has prepared students to lead organizations, start companies, develop new products and services, and shape business knowledge and policy. Its programs are consistently ranked among the best in the nation, its faculty members are internationally recognized for their teaching and thought leadership and top businesses worldwide hire its highly qualified graduates. The Kelley School of Business offers undergraduate, MBA and specialized graduate and Ph.D. programs. For more information, go to www.kelley.iu.edu.