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Coca-Cola sponsors 100 students for a summer entrepreneurship program

100 Arab college students from across the Middle East North Africa region were offered an entrepreneurship program at Indiana University.

In an effort to support and to empower the next generation of youth in business and social entrepreneurs across the region, in 2012 The Coca-Cola Company with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, one of the top-ranked programs in the United States and is ranked number one for entrepreneurship education, developed a one-month entrepreneurship education program, began in mid June, for 100 Arab college students from across the Middle East North Africa region.

As part of the program, these students, including the 50 Egyptians, have had an unparalleled opportunity and developed business skills that they have brought back home.

During the one-month program students have undertaken courses and acquired skills such as; Developing a Business Plan; Social Entrepreneurship; and Non-Profit Management, they have also participated in interactive sessions and presented their business plans to panel format in order to maximize students' exposure.

"Coca-Cola's contribution to this program reinforces our commitment to promote education and develop future Egyptian entrepreneurs," said Omar Mandour, General Manager for Coca-Cola Egypt, Libya and Yemen. He also adds, "We are honored to support these outstanding Egyptian candidates and to enable them to seize this unique opportunity that will open doors for them in the business world."

Following their studies at Kelley School of Business the students were given the opportunity to go to Washington DC and Atlanta, Georgia to meet with various external stakeholders, including Alyse Nelson, President of Vital Voices Global Partnership for Women, Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain, President of The Middle East Institute, Khush Choksy, Executive Director of the U.S.-Egypt Business Council as well as Ayman El Tarabishy, Executive Director of International Council of Small Business, Lionel Johnson, Vice President of Middle East and North Africa Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Muhtar Kent CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, as well as several civil society actors.

"The Coca-Cola Company understands that for its business to be successful over the long-term, the communities in which it operates need to be sustainable - - sustainable economically, sustainable environmentally, and with strong community support systems. As a local business in each one of the countries across the region, The Coca-Cola Company seeks to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, so that they can create the local companies and NGOs which will "Make Tomorrow Better" in their own communities," said Curt Ferguson, President, Coca-Cola Middle East & North Africa.

This multi-faceted, immersion program was designed to give a select group of students from across the MENA region the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of successful business practices and pedagogy through an accelerated four-week curriculum based on the core elements of the Kelley School of Business undergraduate program. More than 5,300 students between the ages of 18 and 24 applied via social media to the Live Positively-inspired program. Individuals were selected based on their submitted proposals for new business projects or community initiatives that meet specific local needs in how to make tomorrow better in your country.

"Indiana University's Kelley School of Business is pleased to collaborate in this program to bring up to 100 students from the Middle East & North Africa to Bloomington during the summer of 2012. As the premier entrepreneurship education institution, the Kelley School understands how critical entrepreneurship is to creating a flourishing economy. Small and medium-sized businesses are the motor for local economies around the world, and these future enterprises in North Africa and the Middle East will be built by the young university students who are inspired to become their own CEOs," said Daniel C. Smith, Dean, Kelley School of Business.