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HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organization; they put a lot of effort into creating a sustainable future by tackling climate change while running a successful and profitable organization. They have partnered with Potential.com; an innovative empowerment platform that specializes in youth and women empowerment, UN sustainable development goals related programs and many more. Together they launched Tatawwar.
Tatawwar is a partnership between HSBC and Potential.com. Tatawwar is the Arabic word for “to develop” and it’s a program that supports and empowers talented youth by offering them the opportunity to develop sustainable innovations for a brighter future while targeting three UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s): Good Health and Wellbeing, Clean Water and Sanitation and Climate Action.
The program, which includes a combination of both an online and physical features, was launched in 2019 and it brings together students from the ages of 15 to 18, parents, schools and the business community. Once they join the program, they go through a beneficial learning process to help them improve their innovation projects after which they develop a working prototype which aims to solve one of the SDG’s. By educating and facilitating a valuable learning environment for students, they are able to learn innovation, business, critical thinking, entrepreneurship and many more skills, which enables them to be better prepared for their future experiences. Due to the social entrepreneurship angle, they’ll be better prepared to solve the world’s problems using their vision, creativity and innovation as young and bright leaders.
In addition, 20 talented students who have submitted great innovations and have shown great potential are selected as ambassadors. They are supported even further by undertaking extensive work in order for them to launch their business ventures or engage in and accomplish what they are passionate about.
This program came about due to the fact that statistics have indicated that youth unemployment has been an ongoing crisis especially in the Middle East and North African region even before the Covid-19 pandemic. So this program was created with the thought of not only making youth more employable, but providing them the opportunity to create innovations that could create more jobs in the near future. The creation of TatawWar was a need in order to ensure youth are being employed but also benefiting business, society and environment all simultaneously as they “believe that social entrepreneurship is a solution for a lot of challenges”.
There were many goals that they aspired to achieve through Tatawwar. One of their purposes was to spread awareness regarding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). As Shadi Banna, the founder of Potential.com stated, “in our research we were surprised to find out that only 40% of the youth knew about the sustainable development goals”, and informing them about SDG’s is the first step in the right and more promising direction. Furthermore, their main purpose was to raise awareness on future job skills, and making it available to all youth for the purpose of learning during this program at their own pace. Hence why they implemented an online platform to make it more accessible.
Tatawwar has reached millions of young people across the region to be a part of a free program, which helps students by allowing them the opportunity to nourish their business skills and social entrepreneurship. There have been over a million impressions on this program and the various SDG concerns that students are tackling through their innovations. This indicates the effectiveness of this program to spread awareness regarding the SDG's. The extensive marketing effort for increased awareness has given the program the opportunity to gain a larger audience, which allows for better engagement and encouragement from people all over the world to support and follow Tatawwar’s achievements through social media.
A long-term effect is helping 15 to 18-year-old students get into leading universities by giving them recommendation letters to showcase their remarkable achievements in the program and to reveal the many skills they’ve gained such as financial, innovative and problem-solving skills, as well as presentation and pitching skills. These skills have resulted in students being more prepared and advanced for future jobs which is heightening their career opportunities and their chances of success in the workplace. The reality of them understanding sustainability and the many social, environmental and health issues the world is facing will further benefit the community and the world and hopefully guarantee a more sustainable future.
Another great effect of this program, is that some of the innovations get developed and launched in the market. For example, a student in Egypt launched an application to help people save water and electricity, which is now benefiting many people, with different languages also being available. Moreover, others have started YouTube channels promoting and raising awareness regarding sustainability and climate action.
HSBC created and funded this program with its foundation money, so the Tatawwar program is not directly linked to the business aspect of the company. However, it provides a greater reputation to the business as it indicates that HSBC actively contributes to the community and environment and they aim for a sustainable future while focusing on the SDG’s. Most importantly, it shows they are helping and supporting youth through this valuable program. In addition, with the program, HSBC has gained 90,000,000+ impressions with media articles as well as online campaigns.
Furthermore, this program is promoting the business in an indirect way, which is more appealing to the public, as it indicates that HSBC is genuinely giving back to the community while saving the environment. Social media is used to promote Tatawwar and its impact and this is a great marketing method to increase HSBC’s brand image and brand recognition giving them greater media attention, public interest and recognition, and therefore positive exposure and publicity, which is a great competitive advantage.
From the societal aspect, the program is most notably benefiting the youth by supporting, educating and empowering them by giving them a platform where they can develop and learn as young leaders with brilliant ideas, innovations and limitless creativity. Having such a platform will only make youth more determined, as they direct their boundless energy to their ideas and dreams. In addition, having their children going down a hopeful and optimistic path, parents and communities can be calm and sit back as their youth are flourishing and creating a better, more sustainable society for people everywhere.
In terms of the environment, many of the innovations submitted by students are created to tackle climate action. The program teaches students how to understand the problems they want to tackle so they are aware how the problem affects the community and environment and then helps them come up with innovations that will specifically target and help the climate. The best innovative designs are chosen and go to a Fab-Lab so they can create the actual prototype.
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Shadi Banna, CEO & Founder of Potential.com
HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organization in the world and they put a lot of effort into creating a sustainable future by tackling climate change while running a successful and profitable organization. They have partnered with Potential.com, an innovative empowerment platform that specializes in youth and women empowerment, UN sustainable development goals related programs and many more. Together they launched Tatawwar.