Companies and organizations around the world question how they can innovate for a better future, and Community Jameel Saudi – the philanthropic organization established by the Jameel Family – has the answers. Community Jameel Saudi’s newly released 2021 report demonstrates how the organization blends a multi-faceted approach with advanced solutions to ignite concrete economic growth and achieve real social change.
Community Jameel Saudi’s Vice Chairman, Hassan Jameel, leads the third generation of the family’s philanthropic activities, ensuring that giving back to society remains a key pillar of the company. Under Hassan Jameel’s leadership, the organization employs the latest research in its projects and follows key performance indicators to ensure it achieves meaningful change.
In 2021, Community Jameel Saudi made major strides in its ongoing mission to “Innovate for a Better Future” in alignment with Vision 2030 – Saudi Arabia’s strategic framework to implement positive economic and social change. The year saw achievements across core development areas, including competency development, entrepreneur advancement, and women’s empowerment.
These are Community Jameel Saudi’s top four accomplishments from 2021.
2021 saw the creation of 14,230 jobs for Saudi Arabians through Bab Rizq Jameel (BRJ), the recruitment division of Community Jameel Saudi, which launched in 2003 to create jobs in the Middle East and North Africa through a dual approach of training and microfinancing. Aside from providing employment services for individuals and companies, BRJ also boasts a specialized body with a mission to develop core groups of qualified national teams.
BRJ saw growth across three programs in 2021. The Tawteen program, which helps businesses localize jobs and implement ministerial decisions, created 9,826 opportunities, while Tahseen offered 184 seasonal and temporary job opportunities to citizens. The Tayseer program, which focuses on providing work experience to the nation’s youth, created 4,220 opportunities across a range of professional fields, including small and medium enterprise development, enabling young people to increase their income.
The investment into the generation that will soon enter the workforce is vital to furthering the objectives of Vision 2030. Not only do individuals see an increase in their personal income, but the investment also ensures a national mindset of growth and productivity. In addition, across all the age ranges provided with support along their career journeys, personal development means greater social progress: BRJ is proud to provide job opportunities which will in turn lead to improvements in the standard of living, employment rates, and community development on a national scale.
As well as its training programs, BRJ has created thousands of jobs through its generous microfinancing schemes. 2021 proved a year of substantial growth: 1,607 beneficiaries in Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Madinah, and Tabuk received loans worth $22.9 million (SR 85.9 million). These loans have provided crucial capital to small and medium enterprises that are looking to grow their workforces.
Additionally, BRJ is the first microfinance company in Saudi Arabia to provide microloans directly to citizens, supporting individuals with job opportunities in the small to medium enterprise (SME) sector. Cash financing makes funding available to home-based entrepreneurs and those with established projects, while other products provide funding for existing or new small businesses. In a concerted effort to encourage more women into business, BRJ also offers a finance product solely for women who are actively involved in enterprises or looking to launch business plans.
Community Jameel Saudi understands how crucial it is to empower women in the professional and domestic spheres. This is a sentiment mirrored in Vision 2030 – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing goal to support women as essential and active members of Saudi society.
In 2021, putting intention into action, Community Jameel Saudi supported 1,237 Saudi women through the Nafisa Shams Academy for Arts and Crafts. The academy is another of the many BRJ social initiatives developed by Community Jameel Saudi. Established in 2006 and named in honor of the wife of Hassan Jameel’s grandfather, the academy provides women of all educational levels with specialized training in art and craft production, appropriate to the current labor market. The academy includes more than 250 members who last year produced 126,152 handcrafted products.
The long-term goal is to reduce unemployment among women by giving them the tools to pursue creative work within their local communities and, should they choose to, achieve financial independence working from their homes. The academy is committed to improving the economic and social status of women and supports the culture of self-employment as an effective factor for economic development.
Another important factor in economic development is entrepreneurial advancement. 2021 saw a first in this field from Community Jameel Saudi, through the launch of the MITEF Startup Competition in Saudi Arabia and the Arab World. Previously operating as two separate entities, the MITEF Competition for Arab Startups and the MITEF Competition for Startups in Saudi Arabia, the newly combined competition recognizes and celebrates start-ups, ideas, and social entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab world.
The expansion of the competition last year saw the submission of more than 2,600 projects from over 20 Arab countries. The submissions were evaluated according to their creativity, scalability, and positive impact on society. The ultimate goal of the competition is to grant entrepreneurs the opportunity to progress their business ideas with Community Jameel Saudi, and the MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Arabia.
Though 2021 marked a successful year for Community Jameel Saudi and its beneficiaries, Hassan Jameel emphasizes that the focus should remain squarely on the future: “As we reflect on the year that has passed, we remain committed to ensuring all our initiatives are innovative, guided by research, and that we use technology to positively impact society in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for generations to come.”
Hassan Jameel is the Deputy President and Vice Chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ), a globally diversified, family-owned business, founded by Abdul Latif Jameel himself in 1945. Today, Hassan Jameel heads the company’s global domestic operations in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, including overseeing its mobility, land, automotive, machinery, and real estate divisions. He also digitizes the company’s systems and processes to futureproof ALJ and transform its interactions with partners and guests.
Hassan Jameel is also the Vice Chairman of Community Jameel Saudi, an organization aimed at creating job opportunities for Saudi youth, in line with global best practice across various fields, including Small and Medium enterprise development, Saudization, and training programs as per the needs of the domestic job market. The Jameel Family launched the organization in 2003, continuing the Jameel Family’s tradition of philanthropy. Community Jameel Saudi has since found several ways to give back to and support communities in Saudi.
Furthermore, Hassan Jameel sits on the UTokyo Global Advisory Board for the University of Tokyo and the MIT School of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council. He is also a founding member of the Family Business Council — Gulf, which aids the growth of businesses in the Middle East and North Africa. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the London Business School and a Bachelor of Arts in International Economics from Sophia University in Tokyo.