« I had no idea how to go about creating a business, or even that it was possible. The training I received was of a very high standard. It helped me to structure my ideas and gave me a push in the right direction.

Mohammad, 20 years old.

A participant in the BRIDGES Program.


In Syria the economic disaster resulting from six years of conflict has above all affected the Syrian youth, who find it difficult to envisage their future. The advantages of action in the region are twofold: it’s a good way to go about creating your own job whilst also responding to the community’s needs.

In October of 2016, the training program BRIDGES, supported both by the IECD and UNICEF in Syria, was launched to help young Syrians acquire the necessary skills to create their own business concerns.

The BRIDGES program consists of 5 phases:

  1. The skills and knowledge necessary to become an entrepreneur
  2. Planning a project (funding, management, marketing)
  3. Feasibility studies/fundraising
  4. Development and incubation of the project
  5. Assessment and scaling up

In the month of February, 27 candidates have benefited from the lessons of phase 1, 17 the lessons of phase 2 and 14 those of phase 3.

In total 58 young people aged from 17 to 24 years of age have benefited from the BRIDGES program in February alone.

A competition in setting up projects

In the month of February, 59 people who had validated the third phase presented 46 projects before a jury in order to attract funding: 36 projects concerned the creation of companies whereas ten were social initiatives. The results arrived this very week! Out of a maximum 100 points, 12 projects obtained a grade above eighty! In order to carry out these 12 projects, an individual will be assigned to each of the successful students in order reinvestigate its feasibility as well as the necessary investment for launching and to insure a regular follow-up right throughout the process of setting up.

6th march 2017

Check out the first-hand experience of Yaman who participated in the first stage of the BRIDGES program: https://www.iecd.org/4757/

*Building and Reinforcing Integration through the Development of Guidance, Employment and Skills
« The training was very enriching. I really appreciated the attention that was given to details. I had never before been trained in creating a company. Now I can’t wait to learn more and open my wedding planning business.

Bayan, 20 years old.

A participant in the BRIDGES Program.