Do you have an innovative idea to solve a social/economic issue/problem in the rural areas? Are you ambitious, entrepreneurial, and passionate about social/economic change in the rural areas? 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Hiroshima Office are seeking innovative and economically sustainable ideas that address a significant issue/problem in the rural areas/communities and creates positive and sustainable social/economic change in the targeted areas.

Through this programme, UNDP and the UNITAR Hiroshima Office will provide 5-7 groups (each group consisted of 2- 3 social entrepreneurs) with high potential social enterprise ideas with the support and direction they need to kick-start their business ideas and contribute to the sustainable rural development.

And together with a small group of fellow innovators, you will receive:


The selected participants will receive skills training to deepen their thinking and build their capacity as social entrepreneurs. Over this programme, participants will attend two workshops starting with a four-full day’s workshop in Damascus. Also, participants will receive ten-full day’s advanced workshop, concluding  with a feasible social enterprise business plan for each venture idea.

Seed funding:

As part of the programme, UNDP will provide seed capital (up to 10,000 USD for each group business idea) as a grant after the completion of both training workshops for the implementation of the ideas.

Mentoring and coaching:

All participants who have successfully completed the programmae will receive six-months support with mentoring and coaching services from leading business experts and social entrepreneurs.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You are aged 18 years to 40 at the time of applying for this programme.
  • You are a team consist of minimum 2 to maximum 3 members.
  • The focus of the idea is on benefiting people living in rural areas.
  • You have an innovative idea tackling a social/economical issue in the rural areas/communities.
  • You are available as a team to commit to full attendance of this programme.

Selection process timeline:

  • Call for applications: 27th of December till 24th of January.
    You can apply for this programme by filling in an online application form “annex 1” and Submit it here (Link)/ or you can fill in an offline application through UNDP field offices identified in annex 2.
  • Review of applications: 24th of January – 10th February 2019
    All applications will be evaluated and given marks based on specific criteria within the following categories:
    - Relevant to rural development
    - Innovation
    - The technical study
    - Financial sustainability possibilities
    - Organization of the team
    Projects that achieve the highest points will be selected according to the above criteria, but the total number of participants shall not exceed 15 participants.
    Note: An equal number of participants will be selected from each of the target areas.

    Announcement of the Names : 14th of February
    selected applicants will be informed of their selection.

  • First Training Workshop: February 2019
    The workshop will be held in Damascus and participants will be informed a week before the workshop. The venue and training schedule will be determined later

  • Second Training Workshop: March 2019
    The venue and the training program are then determined based on the results of the training in the first stage.

Note: the selection of the application will be equally distributed among the different geographical areas in Syria.