With participation of over 360 students from 22 universities across the Middle East

Middle East, December 15, 2015 – The Coca-Cola Foundation, in partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab, has launched the eighth edition of the ‘Ripples of Happiness’ (ROH) program, an educational initiative focused on regional university students with a primary emphasis on social responsibility, entrepreneurial skills, financial literacy, and workplace readiness.

Over 360 student teams in 22 universities from six countries across the Middle East, including UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, have enrolled in ROH for a chance to have their projects financed with grants totaling USD 22,000 provided by the Coca-Cola Foundation.

Throughout the course of ROH, participating teams will attend a number of training sessions aimed at developing their entrepreneurial and business management skills. The program also includes coaching sessions provided by volunteers from the private sector [and the Coca-Cola Middle East], on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship skills, in addition to sharing their experiences of working in the private sector.

As part of the program, each team will create a business plan for their project, which will be assessed by an independent judging panel at the end of the program. Entries will be evaluated based on feasibility, sustainability and social impact.

Commenting on the subject, Akef Al-Aqrabawi, CEO of INJAZ Al-Arab, said: “Our partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation has enabled us over the past years, to prepare a business-savvy generation of entrepreneurs who are conscious of the social challenges that face their own communities. The Ripples of Happiness program has facilitated knowledge transfer to the next generation in a fun, yet challenging environment that teaches students to operate their own projects in the future, while still receiving education”.

Omar Bennis, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Coca-Cola Company Middle East, says, “At the Coca-Cola Company, we are committed to sustainability and developing the communities in which we operate. Our partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab has permitted us to reach a larger segment of university students across the region and to prepare the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs, who are focused on solving the challenges that their communities face”.

The Ripples of Happiness program, which is set to conclude in early January 2016, will award the first place winner with a USD10,000 grant, and USD7,000 and USD5,000 for the second and third places respectively.

Previous editions of ROH saw a range of innovative ideas and projects positively impact their communities. Past winning participations included a device that can be installed on school bus doors to ensure that no school children are left behind in buses, and a project called Zoap, which uses upcycled cooking oil to produce soap.

Since its inception in 2012, the Ripples of Happiness program has reached over 2300 university students across six countries in the Middle East.

For more information, visit: www.ripplesofhappiness.com


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About the “Ripples of Happiness Program”

The Ripples of Happiness program is a training program jointly developed by the Coca-Cola Foundation and INJAZ Al-Arab. This program aims to inspire university students to identify and implement projects that will have a positive impact on their communities while providing students with the right guidance and resources provided through the Coca-Cola System. The program involves a selection of a group of students in every university that will be part of the Ripples of Happiness class, taking place over the course of 6 consecutive weeks, with one day each week holding a 1-2 hour session of ROH. During the 1st and 2nd weeks of the program students will identify an opportunity in their community that is dear to their hearts and to the future generations. They will also decide on a solution to tackle this opportunity, and then proceed to implement their solutions during the 4th and 5th weeks of the program. The 6th week they will be asked to compile all their documentation to create a one minute Submission Document that will then be judged by a panel. The winners will be supported in taking their projects further and scaling them.

About The Coca-Cola Foundation

The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Coca-Cola Company, supports sustainable activities worldwide in all countries where The Coca-Cola Company operates since 1984. The Ripples of Happiness Program is in line with both The Coca-Cola Foundation and INJAZ Al-Arab’s longstanding strategy to empower youth and foster social responsibility. The program is taking place simultaneously in Universities across UAE, Palestine, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Jordan.

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.  Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, POWERADE, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia, Dasani, FUZE TEA and Del Valle.  Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks.  Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day.  With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, 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 INJAZ Al-Arab & Junior Achievement Worldwide

Operating in 14 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, INJAZ Al-Arab is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to overcoming unemployment in the region and aims to inspire a culture of entrepreneurship and business innovation among Arab youth.

Partnering with leading companies in the private sector, INJAZ Al-Arab equips Arab youth to drive the economies of the Arab World forward through training designed to inspire them to develop ambition, entrepreneurship and professional skills.

Named one of the top 100 NGOs in the world by Global Journal, INJAZ Al-Arab has influenced the lives of over 2 million students since its inception in 2004. INJAZ Al-Arab is a member of Junior Achievement; the world’s largest and fastest-growing youth business organisation dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.