SEP at WEF Dead Sea: The Impact of Social Manufacturing
Posted on June 29 2017
In May of this year, SEP Jordan was invited to attend the World Economic Forum Dead Sea and asked to lead a discussion on social manufacturing.
It was a great opportunity to invite WEF attendees to:
- ponder over what it means to be a refugee,
- reflect on the limitations of a purely humanitarian/charity-based approach,
- debate on how the private sector can change the perspectives of refugees for good.
Around 40 people attended the Impact Hub discussion we led along with Teenah, a social enterprise which teaches refugee ladies how to make bags in Irbid. The attendees came from diverse backgrounds (we had the honour of having Mrs Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Enterpreneurship as well as private sector, humanitarian sector representatives, social entrepreneurs, Phd students, Family office managers, head-hunters) and...
...the most interesting questions were:
- What do the SEP Artists' husbands do?
- How to the SEP Artists' husbands cope with their wives becoming the main bread-winner?
- Do you find access to funding is difficult, especially being a woman-founder?
- What is your top priority at this stage? How can we help?
- Where do you sell?
- What makes you stand out relative to the many embroidery projects out there?
...the biggest surprise to us was:
Not a single attendee challenged our key assumption that the private sector has a duty - and an opportunity - to work with refugees, to bring back dignity to the camps.
...the most exciting outcomes for SEP were:
- We kicked-off talks to create a childcare center for SEP Artist's kids, managed and founded by a worldwide leader charity organisation in partnership with SEP.
- We started long-term conversations regarding the need of a legal framework to regulate Social Enterprises, a new and fast-growing type of "hybrid" entity in Jordan and elsewhere.
- We were invited to hold private sales events in countries where we do not yet have a presence or have a limited presence, such as Saudi Arabia and the USA.
- New #SEPAmbassadors joined our community, via online purchases following our presentation.
Most importantly, we brought a piece of Jerash Camp to the world's most influential decision makers. Most of them had never heard of the camp and its 30,000 residents - and they now have a connection to the camp, the SEP Artists and their families and community.
Answers to the most interesting questions will be listed in a separate Blog post, watch out!