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Tanweel: Inspiring Saudi Arabia’s Youth, One Student at a Time

The Solve community is supported by a diverse, network of members. These members come from all sectors and continents. United by their passion for social impact, they offer our Solver teams unique perspectives, experiences, and resources.

One of these members is Saudi Arabia-based Tanweel, a social enterprise offering young women and men, particularly those from underprivileged communities, the support and guidance they need to pursue a rewarding future that capitalizes on their natural talents.

Through local and international partnerships, Tanweel catalyzes social impact through a range of inspirational empowerment programs for Saudi youth. Tanweel’s vision is a Saudi Arabia in which all young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential, live fulfilling lives, and contribute to Saudi society.

To learn more about the enterprise, we sat down with Faisal Al Faisal, Tanweel’s founder and director. Read on to hear his story.

What inspired you to found Tanweel?

I established Tanweel because I feel strongly about empowering and inspiring the next generation—especially those from underprivileged backgrounds. I am unashamedly passionate about pursuing positive social impact. Tanweel helps young people flourish in new careers, enjoy better incomes, enhance their communities, and contribute productively to Saudi society.

How do you apply new technologies and innovation to your industry?

Although our approach to social impact isn't focused on a specific technology, we use various forms of technology as key tools in much of our work.

Our work capitalizes on the principles of social entrepreneurship, blending and harnessing human capital, investment, and innovation. We are one of the first organizations in Saudi Arabia to actively develop a social entrepreneurial ecosystem in our work.

I lead a small team intensely focused on transformational social impact. We’ve partnered with a number of charities, universities, and corporate social responsibility departments to provide empowerment, skills-based training, and mentorship programs to many young people. We continue to scale and plan to expand our program portfolio in 2018 and beyond.

How can organizations like yours help improve economic opportunities in underserved areas?

I have been engaged in charitable activities in Saudi Arabia for many years, and I deeply believe in the value of education. Access to good education is crucial to effectively tackling poverty, and in the long run, it offers solutions that enable communities to develop and thrive. Experience has shown me that even small interventions can have a significant, positive impact when they involve the right people, best practices, and carefully tailored and contextualized approaches.

What are some present barriers to achieving these goals?

An individual's mindset can either enable or block social and economic development and personal success. We must support young people and help them develop the right kind of creative mindset. They must be self-aware and self-confidant, cognisant of their own abilities and talents, aligned with their passion, unafraid to embrace challenges, and focused on personal growth. With this type of mindset, they will achieve their goals.

Solve is eager to connect organization like Tanweel with our Solver class and network. Interested in joining? As a member, you’ll gain first-hand access to innovative ideas, build partnerships with the Solver class, and shape future Solve challenges. Learn more about membership here.


Participants work together during a Working Group on Youth, Skills, and the Workforce of the Future at Solve at MIT, May 17, 2018. (Photo by Adam Schultz / MIT Solve)

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