MENA-Michigan Initiative for Global Action Through Entrepreneurship (M2GATE) (Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia)August 1, 2017 - February 28, 2019
From 2017-2019, the M²GATE program brought together more than 400 students from five Michigan university campuses and their peers in Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Harnessing the power of virtual exchange, students worked in teams to find entrepreneurial solutions to social challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, while learning new skills, building cross-cultural experiences and forging new relationships. Students developed their business concepts over an eight-week period and judges determined the winning team from each of the three cohorts. M²GATE culminated in a visit by the winning teams to Ann Arbor to participate in a week of entrepreneurial activities, including a business pitch competition, in November 2018.
Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with participants praising the program for helping them work with people in different cultures and exposing them to new concepts in design thinking, entrepreneurship, leadership and virtual collaboration. The program also sparked in students a deep interest in social enterprise – 51% of program participants said they planned to take what they’ve learned and start a social enterprise in the future. The program was funded by the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute, with support from the U.S. Department of Statement and a consortium of other partners