Starbucks Forms the Largest Coalition in the Middle East to Help Youth

Millions of young people across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region have limited access to employment opportunities, and they find themselves unable to become economically active in their communities.

Driven by its principles of being a globally responsible for-profit company, and in its effort to bridge between youth and opportunity, Starbucks MENA launched its “Opportunity Café” initiative in April of 2016 by hosting the region’s CV-writing workshop across 10 markets in partnership with and Education For Employment (EFE). As a result, nearly 500 youth received professional advice on how to improve their resumes, find jobs, and succeed in future job interviews. Additionally, nearly 1,000 youth were linked to further career services, to help deliver them to employment.

Following the success of the first installment of the Opportunity Café, Starbucks MENA was determined to continue its commitment of putting young people on the pathway to employment through 2017, and re-partnered with and EFE to host CV-writing training sessions across 16 of its stores on April 24.

“We are thrilled to be reviving our partnership with Starbucks in order support more and more job seekers,” said Rania Nseir, Director of Business Development & CSR, “As the Middle East’s #1 Job Site, we have made it our mission to equip job seekers with the skills and tools they need to build their careers of choice and head towards success. We hope that, by offering free CV consultations to professionals of all backgrounds and career levels, we will contribute toward a stronger and more empowered workforce. Those attending Opportunity Café will benefit from our career experts’ recommendations and will be able to better highlight their expertise in key areas and chalk out a well-structured CV. All job seekers can also benefit from our job site, which gives them access to over 10,000 jobs on any given day.”

“It is truly a pleasure to partner with Starbucks for this second Opportunity Café. EFE|Egypt’s experience of almost ten years working closely with a diverse pool of employers has allowed us to understand the Egyptian employment market and know exactly what employers look for when they receive a C.V. This is the knowledge we hope to pass on to our attendees this year. That, coupled with our successful experience at last year’s Opportunity Café make us look forward to this year’s event, confident we will be delivering workshops that are practical, informative and up-to-date with current market needs.” Ismail El Habrouk, CEO, EFE|Egypt

Alongside the CV-wiring workshops, Starbucks MENA partnered with AMIDEAST Entrepreneur Institute and Silatech to host “Startup” training sessions across 12 additional stores, to help out young people who are looking toward starting their own businesses as their alternative pathway to economic opportunity.

“AMIDEAST is proud to partner with Starbucks, a global company that leads not just in its core business but also in giving back to its communities around the world. As an NGO focused on expanding opportunities for youth throughout MENA, our vision and work align closely with Starbuck’s ‘Opportunity Café’ initiative. By exposing Arab youth to the key skills needed to start their own businesses, we hope to inspire them to consider this career option and help them create their own future as well as create jobs for other Arab youth,” said Barbara Shahin Batlouni, Country Director of AMIDEAST/Lebanon.

“Our mandate is to prepare Arab youth for the world of work and connect them to jobs and economic opportunities through innovative employment and enterprise initiatives,” Mashael Ali Al-Hammadi, Director of Employability at Silatech. “This Collaboration with Starbucks is a great example of how partners can utilize their expertise to help Arab youth realize their full potential”.

By forming this coalition of experts, Starbucks MENA hopes to be able to provide 850 MENA youth with 147 hours of employability and entrepreneurship training, simultaneously across a geography 21 cities; making the Opportunity Café the largest youth & opportunity event in the history of the region.

“At Starbucks, we continue to support youth across the region to find opportunities and inspire them to reach their maximum potential,” said Rana Shaheen, Regional Communications and CSR Manager for Starbucks MENA. “This year we have partnered with the experts in employment and entrepreneurship to form the largest coalition of experts giving local youth the opportunity to pick up valuable insights over a cup of Starbucks coffee and setting them on the path to success. We are proud to continue supporting our youth in the region with the necessary inspiration and guidance."

For more information about the workshop and to find an Opportunity Café near you visit: