Our global impact

  • Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab
  • Bab Rizq Jameel
  • Jameel Prize
  • MITEF Arab Start-up competition
  • Madad Services LLC, winner of the 2017 MITEF Saudi Arabia

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab

Collaborating To Alleviate Global Poverty

With the support of Community Jameel, the brightest minds from around the world are working together with a single, powerful cause – to alleviate and prevent extreme poverty.

By applying rigorous and empirical scientific study and academic thought, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab is a testament to how well-planned poverty alleviation and training programmes can change people’s lives for the better.

The Poverty Action Lab was founded in 2003 by professors Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Sendhil Mullainathan from the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2005, their work caught the attention of MIT alumnus Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel who made three major endowments to the lab to support its growth and development. The lab was subsequently renamed in his late father’s honour, becoming the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.

With this generous support, the Poverty Action Lab has been able to grow steadily, making a great difference in the lives of people living in extreme poverty.

Today, the Lab has six regional offices across the world and our 131 affiliated professors, fellows, and collaborative experts analyse and disseminate research results to build effective partnerships with policymakers. This ensures that policy is driven by evidence and that effective programmes can be scaled up to make the most beneficial impacts with strong, quantifiable benefits and long-lasting impacts.

J-PAL has so far trained nearly 9,000 practitioners via executive education courses, customised training workshops, and comprehensive online open courses. To date we have 680 projects in 66 countries either completed or ongoing.

Our projects serve to empower, support, and incentivise positive change across the globe. With the support of our key partners, we are making global change a reality. Programmes and policies tested and proven effective by J-PAL affiliates have reached an estimated 203.17 million people around the world.


Bab Rizq Jameel

Employment – the gateway to prosperity

Since 2003, Bab Rizq Jameel (BRJ) has worked closely with businesses across Saudi Arabia to identify and establish sustainable multi-sector employment opportunities for young men and women.

Activities such as recruitment, training, and providing financial support to establish small businesses all help to alleviate poverty and create a more sustainable future across all demographics.

Through many highly-effective social programmes designed to mobilise and energise the employment sector within Saudi Arabia, we have been able to support the inevitable shift from a resource-based economy to knowledge and service.

Since our foundation began its work, BRJ has generated more than 490,000 employment opportunities across all Saudi Arabian provinces and has helped establish a culture of upward mobility. With projects such as Direct Recruitment that pairs available job opportunities with suitable candidates, Training Resulting in Employment that provides technical training while facilitating future employment, Small Business Finance, and Taxi Ownership and Truck Ownership, we have been carefully identifying sectors where we are able to create the most impact and can help people achieve their potential.

We have also concentrated on getting women into the workplace as a key focus of our work. BRJ understands that enabling women to work from home or in other equally suitable environments while receiving appropriate support is an important part of our remit.

Our record of securing stable and socially convenient employment for women in Saudi Arabia is well-recognised. We have generated more than 230,000 job opportunities through the BRJ Productive Family programme and a further 22,700 through the Working Remotely programme.

While our primary focus has been developing and supporting the Saudi Arabian job market, our proven record has allowed us to look further afield. We have thus established a presence in Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey, and have quickly been able to implement strategic programmes to support these regional economies. Taking all our projects and partnerships into consideration, Bab Rizq Jameel has been responsible for securing 720,000 employment opportunities across the Middle East and North Africa.


Jameel Prize

Sustaining Islamic art traditions

The biennial Jameel Prize was launched in 2009 and is open to contemporary international artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of craft and design.

The prize is open to entrants from any ethnic, religious, or cultural background and typifies Community Jameel International’s recognition of the role of art in building strong and interconnected communities, supporting arts and culture as one of the cornerstones of daily life and as part of the wider debate about Islamic culture and its role in society today.

Organised by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in partnership with Art Jameel, the Jameel Prize and design and carries an award of £25,000 for the winner.

The V&A began to collect art from the Islamic world in the 1850s and now houses one of the world's great collections. This can be seen at its best in the Museum's Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art.

The Jameel Prize continues the tradition and is now recognised as one of the art world’s most influential competitions. Hammad Nasar, Head of Research and Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, and one of the 2016 judges, describes the prize as “having the potential to contribute to the expansion of people’s understanding and perception of ‘global’ visual culture.”

The prize has a truly global reach. To date, finalists have come from Azerbaijan, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United States. The 2016 shortlist comprised entries from an equally diverse geography – Pakistan, UK, UAE, Turkey, Iran, Brazil, US, and Egypt – chosen from an original 280 nominations from countries as far-ranging as Afghanistan, Mali, Puerto Rico, and Thailand. The art created by the 11 Jameel Prize finalists tours for two years to selected venues worldwide from San Antonio to Singapore, Moscow to Morocco.

Jameel Prize 1 toured the Middle East and North Africa; Jameel Prize 2 travelled to Europe and the US; and Jameel Prize 3 to Russia (Kazan and Moscow), United Arab Emirates (Sharjah), and Singapore. More than 172,000 people have viewed the first three cycles of the prize.

The 2016 exhibition opened in August at the Pera Museum in Istanbul, Turkey.


MITEF Arab Start-up competition

A Helping Hand for Entrepreneurs

Since 2006, Community Jameel has worked in close partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan-Arab, to establish the MITEF Pan-Arab Start-up Competition. Working in close collaboration with the famed American institute of higher learning, we are able to reach out to outstanding young entrepreneurs and give them the opportunity to develop and build their businesses under the guidance and support of industry experts.

Since its inception, the programme has attracted over 100,000 participants with over £524,000 awarded in seed funding across its regionally located chapters. The most recent establishment of a Saudi Arabian chapter has further widened our outreach and increased the number of start-up companies we can help.

We believe that any solid businesses idea can – and should – thrive when the correct provisions and frameworks are implemented. We have worked hard to develop such frameworks for the development of knowledge based industries, and in doing so have created an internationally recognised platform for our young entrepreneurs.

To date, the programme has helped to launch 270 knowledge based start-ups, creating over 2,000 jobs in the region with a further 1,800 people receiving high-level training.

Indeed, the top tier-training and international exposure MITEF offers is unsurpassed. We provide our most promising entrants the means to travel overseas and gain exposure to the markets they are attempting to enter – and give them access to potential investment.

As well as helping to generate interest and seed funding from the private sector, we prioritise the further enhancement of business ideas through education and mentorship.

Each year, the winners of the regional MITEF competitions and the Pan-Arab final prove that the innovative business concepts coming from this region are truly world-class. These budding entrepreneurs are ambassadors for our region and can help mobilise and catalyse our youth, motivating them to carve out their own space in our modern world.


Madad Services LLC, winner of the 2017 MITEF Saudi Arabia

Winner of the 2017 MIT Enterprise Forum Saudi Arabia in the Startup segment, Madad Services LLC, offers an e-commerce platform facilitating supply and demand in the HoReCa (hotel /restaurant/café) sector.

Increasingly, the service industry is looking to further leverage technology, capitalising on the growing strength of the globalised digital marketplace.  Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in connectivity.

By reducing the distance between stakeholders, the service industry can meet the needs of their customers faster and more efficiently, while simultaneously building on real-time client satisfaction. 

This is the area in which Madad Services LLC has come into its own. The company was founded in 2016 with the aim of providing businesses in the hotel, restaurant, and café segment with an online platform to improve their connectivity with suppliers of goods and services to across Saudi Arabia. It is the first company of its kind within the country.

“Our concept is simple; we don’t sell products, instead, we offer a web platform that facilitates the exchange of goods. Our goal is to digitise the regional trading market and help businesses grow through internet technology”, said Faisal Alshareef
CEO, Madad Services.

Like so many great ideas, the inspiration for Madad Services was came from a chance conversation between friends. After deciding to look into the hospitality sector for potential business opportunities, Faisal Alshareef shadowed his friend – a restaurateur in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, to see where there could be room for a new idea.

A few weeks into the process, I began to notice the agony that my friend seemed to go through every time he set about ordering his restaurant supplies. These issues ranged from the inconsistent pricing, the wasted time and effort in searching for a good price, stock unavailability, and overall limitations in access to suppliers.

“One day, a stock check alerted him that he was running out of cooking cream. He called his supplier to order more only to find out that he too was out of stock. He then called the backup supplier and the backup of the backup to find that they too had no supply. At this point he had exhausted the options available to him, as those were the only suppliers he knew. The result of this was that he had to drop five of the best-selling items from his menus for a few months. This affected his revenue severely.

“This got me thinking about creating a platform that connects suppliers and manufacturers with hotels, restaurants, and cafés where our aim was to empower buyers by offering them a competitive marketplace where the lowest possible price could be achieved. The platform could be a place where convenience is prioritised and customers could find a wide range of suppliers with the broadest selection of products.”

However the company does not simply target improving the supply chain on behalf of the customers. “Our aim is also to add value to our partner suppliers. Our platform also services them by introducing them to the online marketplace, while increasing their market exposure and access, and reducing their operation costs,” Faisal Alshareef added.

Since its launch, Madad Services has aimed to offer a “seductively convenient” client-centric business-to-business experience that will effectively digitise what has traditionally been a face-to-face transaction.

So successful was this model that Madad Services took first prize in the second annual MITEF Saudi Arabia Startup Competition, earning SR 100,000 in the process, and public exposure that has resulted in a wave of investment offers.


It was a great honour to win such a prestigious competition and it was a privilege to meet like-minded people; entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors who are trying to revolutionise our ecosystem,” said Faisal Alshareef. “The knowledge that we gained in such a short time has been unbelievable.  We now look to the future making sure to inspire others by making Madad Services a real success story for everyone.”

Bab Rizq Jameel
MITEF Saudi 2015

Impact Stories

We celebrate the men and women who transform their own lives and their communities with our help, providing opportunities that allow hope to become a reality. And now, we are proud to share their stories with you.

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Annual Report

Our annual report provides detailed information about our achievements and developments over each year.

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