Austrian Development Bank, SANAD TAF, Mowgli Mentoring, and participants celebrate impact of mentoring program for entrepreneurs

Syrian refugess receiving their mentoring certificates

The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility (SANAD TAF) and Mowgli Mentoring have completed a pioneering six-month mentoring program for Syrian refugee entrepreneurs in Jordan. Financed by the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB), the initiative’s objective was to provide support and opportunities for these entrepreneurs to earn a sustainable income by incubating and accelerating their startup ideas and micro-businesses, enabling them to contribute to the Jordanian economy and assimilate into Jordanian society.

The program oversaw the training of thirteen Jordanian professionals as “360-degree mentors,” an approach that covers both the personal and professional development of mentees. The trained mentors were then matched one-to-one with thirteen Syrian refugee entrepreneurs, and training and mentorship was developed over a structured, six-month support phase.

To mark the end of this visionary program, a graduation ceremony was held in Jerash, Jordan, in October. The graduates and mentors were joined by representatives from SANAD TAF, Mowgli Mentoring, and the Microfund for Women, who took the opportunity to celebrate the successes, learnings, benefits, and growth achieved during the program and to strengthen peer-to-peer support networks.

Speaking on the impact of the program, SANAD TAF Chairperson Ines Ebrecht said: “Micro and small businesses represent the backbone of the Jordanian economy, providing the vast majority of employment and a huge potential for growth. Against this background, SANAD TAF is especially pleased to have had this opportunity to join Mowgli Mentoring and the OeEB in directly investing in these bright entrepreneurs’ ability to establish themselves in Jordanian society and contribute to the local economy. The lasting results will positively influence not only the entrepreneurs’ individual prosperity and financial security, but also that of the host community.”

Mowgli Mentoring CEO Kathleen Bury stated: 

“This is one of the most inspiring programs that the Mowgli team has delivered over the past 10 years. We are proud to have worked with the OeEB and SANAD TAF to pilot an approach that truly empowers refugee micro-entrepreneurs, who have shown great resilience and willingness to excel despite their circumstances. We are so grateful to the mentors who have shown great commitment to their mentees and the program, having volunteered an impressive 676 hours collectively, during the program.The impact of their contribution is evident, all the mentees have reported an increase in the quality/quantity of their products as well as their revenues. In addition, they have also shared that their confidence levels and decision-making abilities have increased which has consequently enabled them to expand their network within Jordan and better integrate within their host country.”

Jordan holds the second largest percentage of refugees compared to its population, the majority of whom are Syrians living below the poverty line. The significant impact achieved by this program further demonstrates how mentoring is indeed a vital and cost-effective means of developing human capital to drive sustainable business and economic growth.

Program participants showcase their products

At the start of the program, 7 of the 13 Syrian refugees engaged in the SANAD TAF Mowgli Mentoring program had operational businesses, while 6 were still at the ideation stage. After 6 months, the 7 micro-businesses remained operational, and 4 of the 6 mentees with business ideas managed to develop them into a revenue-generating micro-business. The others have sought out additional opportunities to increase their training before launching their businesses.

About the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility
Established in 2011, the SANAD Fund for MSME finances micro, small and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation — including youth employment — agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners.

The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility multiplies the fund’s development impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required R&D.
The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, a branch of the Technical Assistance Facility, provides targeted support to entrepreneurs in the form of training, networking, mentorship, financial technology, and connection to financing opportunities.

SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; and the Dutch development bank FMO. A public-private partnership, the fund is advised by Finance in Motion GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

For more information, please visit:

About Mowgli Mentoring
Mowgli Mentoring is a not-for-profit organisation driving inclusive economic and social change in the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa. Mowgli’s unique, award-winning methodology provides a supportive framework which empowers entrepreneurs, women, youth and corporate employees to unlock their potential and seize new opportunities.

Over the past decade, Mowgli has worked with philanthropists, and local and international governmental and private sector partners to provide mentoring across 17 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the UK. Mowgli has trained more than a thousand mentors who have supported entrepreneurs across all levels including micro, refugee and SMEs. They create and ensure the retention of jobs, producing a significant economic and social return on investment. Mowgli recently expanded their operations across Sub-Saharan Africa, with programs being delivered in Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya. In addition to remaining focused on entrepreneurs, Mowgli has increased their focus on women, youth and corporate leaders and employees as key additional beneficiaries of the mentoring programs.

As a recognised leader in the field of mentoring, the organisation was awarded the European Quality Award by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council in 2016 for their program syllabus.
To learn more about Mowgli Mentoring, now The Human Edge, visit:

Media contact — SANAD
Senior Officer, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 271 035–470

Media contact — The Human Edge