In the aftermath of a series of severe attacks in Afghanistan; especially the one in Kabul on the German Embassy on the 31st of May 2017, Ahmad Fahim Didar, Nicole Bogott and Matiullah Rahmaty came together to discuss opportunities to start a new narrative on Afghanistan; inside and outside of the country. This is how impACT was first created.
This is what we believe in
Anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit should have access to networks, resources and knowledge in order create a social impact for communities!
how it all started
the story of impact
Afghanistan is a county that has continuously been portrayed very negatively in the media with one-sided stories on war, violence and hardship. And yes, it is part of the story of Afghanistan. But Afghanistan also has another side to it, which is equally real, and impACT is telling that story. We want to change the narrative by highlighting entrepreneurial approaches that address societal challenges.
Why we do what we do
Stakeholders in social startup ecosystems (especially in high risk environments) oftentimes act in isolation from one another. Thus, it they cannot reach their full impact for a common good protecting public goods and delivering public services.
The Solution: collaborative and social innovation
impACT facilitates collaborative and social innovation on all levels of the global social startup ecosystem, especially in fragile environments and for any minority group, through the exchange of networks, resources and knowledge.
system change entrepreneurs
tackling root causes
Social entrepreneurship has in many parts of the world has become a buzz word that was narrowed down to social business. only But it is much more! As Daniela Papi Thornton puts it, we “we don’t need more social businesses, we need more social change” and that arguably requires more than just starting new businesses. It requires people to change the directly systems that are causing the need for social change.
As impACT we do not believe in “heropreneurship”, a term coined by Pamela Hartigan. There is something that unites us, social entrepreneurs from various cities, and these are the causes that we are passionate about. We believe that everyone with an entrepreneurial mindset should have the opportunities to positively affect their community and therefore we strive together towards creating access to networks, resources and knowledge by working together with a variety of traditional actors from the public and private sectors.
The Power Triangle
The Power Triangle Model illustrates the foundations of having an impact. The model enables actors in different contexts to assess their own scope of action and gain a deeper understanding of and control over their own level of influence.
WE ARE GROWING
YEAR BY YEAR
impACT was launched 2017 in Kabul, Afghanistan. It was a huge success. Quickly other cities expressed an interest to also host an impACT International Conference and/or impACT Popup Event and we are more than delighted about that. The next conference took place in November 2017 in Berlin, Germany.
In 2018 impACT came to Beirut, Lebanon for a Popup Edition in February 2018. Following cities in 2018 were: Amman, Jordan in August, Baghdad, Iraq and Gaza, Palestinian Territories in October, Frankfurt, Germany and Islamabad, Pakistan in November.
For 2019 new destinations are already on the radar and we are deepening the scope with the previous city chapters. Do you want to organise impACT in your city? Contact us!
impACT is a consortium of various independent organisations and, therefore, we have a wealth of resources and specialisation within our global team.
Ahmad Fahim Didar
Ahmad Fahim Didar is co-founder of impACT. He is also the director of silicon valley based Startup Grind in Afghanistan. His is company AGHAEZ Professional Services manages the events of Startup Grind in Afghanistan. Most Startup Grind events in Afghanistan are being moderated by Ahmad. He also runs the incubator Startup Valley in Kabul.
Nicole Bogott is a published author, social entrepreneur, co-founder of the impACT movement and guest lecturer on the topic of power structures at Freie Universität. She applies systems thinking to change power dynamics. Nicole recently returned from living and working independently in Afghanistan. Her background lies in development and international affairs.
A’laa Chbaro, founder of WonderEd, works on the development of skills of preschoolers through combining storytelling and algorithms. Further, A’laa is a student at the American University of Beirut. She is working on her BA in Psychology and holds a minor in Business. At AUB she’s the President of The Entrepreneurship Club (eClub). A’laa is also the Secretary-General on the Beirut Board of JCI Lebanon. She also mentors startups from the Youth Leadership Program, a program by UNDP.
Dr. Branko Woischwill
Dr. Branko Woischwill has shared his expertise with several companies (startups and major ones) in the course of his career. Together with Nicole Bogott he trademarked the Power Triangle Model that is able to explain how an impactful venture can be set up and maintained. On the basis of intensive secondary analyses and well-founded qualitative research, the Power Triangle has been developed, which has relevance for theoretical and practical perspectives worldwide.
Tanja Schomann is one of the two co-founders of Philia. Philia is a global community of women, who are ambitiously creating a better world. By learning the programme’s unique communication skills that promote dialogue and mutual understanding, women support each other in reaching their individual goals as well as enabling spillover effects on entire communities.
impact City Representatives
Mohammed Salah is a BA holder in Management Information Systems, passionate about all the latest technologies and an active member of the entrepreneurial eco-system in Jordan and Egypt. He co-founded his start-up “Social n’ Tech” in 2017. It focuses on creating online and offline content in the fields of technology, social media and the creative industry. Mohammed is the curator of the MENA region at 1MillionStartups, a co-director of Startup Grind Amman and a country ambassador for RiseUp, MakeSense and Arab Innovation. he also contributes as a writer at MENABytes and DigitalBoom.
Majd Ismail Almashharawi
Majd Ismail Almashharawi founded Green Cake Construction in 2015, a company that creates environmentally friendly bricks from ash to use in the reconstruction of buildings in Gaza. She has presented GreenCake at MIT’s Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition, called Mobaderoon, and was awarded first place for her work in the Japan Gaza Innovation Challenge in 2016. After joining a business fellowship in the US, Majd started a new venture called SunBox. SunBox is an affordable solar device that can provide electricity for all of a family essential needs as people in Gaza as they have been suffering from an energy crisis. She received her B.Sc in Civil Engineering from the Islamic University of Gaza.
Yousef Elhallaq, CEO of Nextep which is a program to connect the most promising startups from Palestine with mentors and coaches from around the world. He was the business development officer at BTI which is one of the biggest incubators in Palestine. He started many initiatives to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Palestine like “Bedaya” a broadcast for entrepreneurs, Gaza Entrepreneurs Club, co-director of Startup Grind and “Mshkah” which is a media platform for entrepreneurship’s news, information and opportunities in Palestine.
Zarlasht Sarmast is an independent Afghan youths’ rights activist. Zarlasht is currently finishing her bachelors’ degree in International and Comparative Politics at the American University of Central Asia. She is an active member of Bard Center for Civic Engagement Program and she is working as a Communications Specialist for GIZ. Further, she is the Director and CEO of the project “Afghanistan Politics on the Verge of Transformation”.
New York City
Jerry Doran has over 10 years experience at the intersection of digital media and global affairs and rights, now leading social media for the Open Society Foundations and previously working for the U.S. Institute of Peace and the U.S. Department of State. Jerry volunteers with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, fostering NYC’s next generation of globally-minded leaders.
Zaid Mohammed is a marketing and network solutions manager. He’s also doing his master degree in communication engineering, while worked in different companies in the field of IT. Furthermore, he is a professional in story telling and film-making. He is an active member in many projects, programs and exhibitions, both in Iraq and outside Iraq, interested in connections and human characters.
Nawres is a pioneer maker in Iraq. His passion for designs, robotics, and fabrication led him to found Science Camp (Iraqi Makerspace) in Basra 2014, the first physical maker space in Iraq that provides technological incubation services. Nawres believes in the need for economy’s cultural shift and Iraqi law change to handle and support the entrepreneurship ecosystem building in the country.”
Brooke believes in the power of inclusive business to create deep and meaningful social impact. Her passions lie in consulting, incubating, and accelerating values-driven enterprises addressing some of India’s most complex challenges. She specializes in guiding organizations through strategic planning and supporting their communications and outreach processes to create a more equitable nation.
Hassaan Shah is an entrepreneur involved in various startup ventures such as Rizq & PDX. He is a visiting lecturer teaching Community Service & Social Entrepreneurship at the National Defence University in Islamabad. He has an M.Phil focused in Development Studies from the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics and an accelerated MBA in entrepreneurship from Hult Business School.
Mari graduated in International Communication Management and specialized in Migration Management, Peacebuilding and Conflict. Since 2015 she has been active within the humanitarian field and development work. She volunteered in Nepal and the Balkan and worked for different StartUps and NGO’s. Currently, Mari is head of communications for a program that supports refugees & migrants with their re-integration.
Sajid Shah is a software developer by profession and founder of the e-commerce platform eleven.pk. He is a firm believer of transferring knowledge, skills and creating entrepreneurs who can improve the living standards around them, who can impact and give back to the society. He is specialized in information technology and working on complex software software systems that are helping people around the world
Baghdad / Berlin
Mohamed is currently a Social Science student at Humboldt University. He has a background in IT. Furthermore, he is a professional development coach and a social entrepreneur. He is an active member in many projects and programs, both in Iraq and in Germany. Mohamed published two books and produced two short films that were exhibited at the Festival in Cannes.
Kanishk is passionate about increasing access to healthcare and focuses his work on neglected / rare diseases in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has over 14 years of global experience across public health, pharmaceuticals, consulting and information technology. He holds an MBA from Duke University, USA and is based out of Delhi.
Baghdad / Basra
Ranya Bakr is a GIZ Junior adviser for Start-Up promotion in Iraq. In 2017 Ranya Started Storey, an architectural firm and co-working space in Baghdad. She worked as a volunteer and a stakeholder advisor for the UNDP at Innovation for Development. She is an UNLEASH Bronze award winner for the category of Urban sustainability and a United Nations Institute for training and research coach for entrepreneurship and leadership.
Research / Berlin
Neha has been passionately working in the field of sustainable food tourism, waste management and natural farming for last three years. She founded The Prodigal Cook Co.- a farm-to-fork venture that connects natural farmers and urban families through experiences. She has consulted impact evaluation projects with Pratham India, Development Alternatives, Rutuba Kenya, YBI London and JPAL in education, youth entrepreneurship and sustainable livelihoods.
Samra Pasic is studying history with special focus on Eastern European History at the university of Mainz. She is also responsible for Frankfurt am Main and the surrounding area at NBSAD. NBSAD is a network of Bosnian students and academics in Germany, who support each other in reaching their individual goals. Additionally, the network is getting involved in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well in order to generate a (social) impact on Bosnia-Herzegovina’s economy.