Equipping Young Peacemakers initiative spotlight: PARACHUTE16

written by EYP participant Ghassan Halawa and PARACHUTE16 Coordinator Razan Abu Sharia


photograph of Ghassan Halawa

The first SDG Roundtable of the Equipping Young Peacemakers program highlighted youth-led initiatives in the Middle East promoting SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.

PARACHUTE16 is an Impact Design House specializing in entrepreneurship and innovation. We build capacity, connect, inspire, and empower entrepreneurs, individuals, communities, and corporates through four main services. These are: entrepreneurship and innovation consultation; designing edutainment programs; corporate innovation; and startup support services and communities. We collaborate across a multitude of partners, including NGOs, foundations, government, public and private sector companies, corporations, communities, and individuals to grow together. To date, we are proud to have impacted 38,800 youth by partnering with more than 100 other organizations and projects, 70 consultants, and 75 expert mentors to build 95 business incubators in marginalized areas. 

PARACHUTE16 is the destination for practically joyful, engaging and passionate work. We believe every choice we make about what we do has a direct and powerful impact on the health of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. That’s why we are building a transparent Impact Design House to offer individuals, communities, and corporations everything to empower innovators and the ecosystem. 

PARACHUTE16 workshop

Our local and regional network supports us in building a stronger ecosystem that offers individuals, communities, entrepreneurs, and youth greater income-generating opportunities through diverse programs, bootcamps and accelerators, impact campaigns, toolkit development, entrepreneurship content sharing, capacity-building training, and community organizing. Through such services and programs, we have been able to engage diverse segments of our communities in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation. We focus on sharing high-end methodologies, toolkits, and programs related to entrepreneurship, so people learn how to start their businesses, how to build an innovative culture within their organizations, and how to develop a better online presence for their brands.

As an Impact Design House, we believe that every challenge, locally and globally, offers us many opportunities to generate impact for individuals and communities. 

Long-term, sustainable impact is a priority for decent work and economic growth programs. True empowerment requires supporting youth and vulnerable communities over a long period of time. However, this also takes more resources than many young initiatives can manage. Short-term projects have helped us build our network, opening the door to partnerships with more entrepreneurs, startups, organizations, and governments. As we have grown, we are now looking to invest in more long-term solutions and impact. We are starting by digital toolkits and podcasts that can be accessed anytime, and by going through the entire start-up process with our partners, not only short-term incubators or one-time workshops. Sharing learning journeys within the ecosystem is critical. 

Our ideas always evolve from our connections in and learning from the social entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem, locally and regionally. We value being “better together” and work with social, business, and entrepreneurship communities, embassies, governments, universities, and innovation centers. We love to connect with everyone, knowing exchange is a two-way street and there is something for us to learn from every kind of organization. We pledge to be at the service of any changemaker to help impact the way they tackle challenges by providing mentorship and consultancy, networking, investment sourcing, and technical support. Please join us to recreate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in MENA!

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