Queen Rania of Jordan has long been an advocate of education. The royal established The Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF) back in 2013 and has since leveraged the charity to offer platforms and educational programs to thousands of children across the Middle East.
And now, the mother-of-four has announced that her foundation is launching a competition that will offer $20,000 (approx. Dhs7,3460 / JOD14,195) to three home-grown start-ups that champion education.
“The Queen Rania Foundation supports quality education that is fit for the region’s ambitions, but we know we cannot do this alone,” Her Majesty said in a statement. “Many of the learning challenges we face require the energy and innovative thinking of entrepreneurs in order to prepare our students for a world that is increasingly shaped by smart technologies, and address the learning losses refugees are facing. I hope this competition can help identify and encourage the kind of innovative approaches we desperately need today.”
CEO of the Queen Rania Foundation, Bassem Saad, adds, “The honest truth is that the Arab World is lagging behind other regions in making good use of socially-minded entrepreneurship – that is, entrepreneurship that delivers social outcomes as well as a self-sustaining business model.”
“This is especially applicable in education and learning, where we seriously need to step up the rate of reform. The world is changing faster than our classrooms, too many evidence-supported practices are not going into use, and too many students are not achieving enough to thrive and prosper,” Saad continues.
“I hope this competition will bring to the forefront inspirational organisations that are doing things differently, not for novelty, but for impact. Through the application process, we look forward to coming across organisations that offer more than administrative efficiency – that really get at the heart of learning and teaching. Some may make great use of digital technology, others may follow a people-led approach, activating the community as a source of learning.”
Applications are open from 10 September to 10 November on startups.qrf.org.