Disclaimer: Applications for ACSI3 are now closed.Applications for ACSI3 are now closed.

The 3rd Edition of the

Asfari Challenge for Social Innovation

Elevating Social Enterprises: From Ideation to Impact in Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and the Syrian Diaspora

About the Program

The Asfari Challenge for Social Innovation (ACSI3) proudly launches its third edition, aiming to empower 13 social enterprises from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and the Syrian diaspora. In partnership with the Asfari Foundation and facilitated by Bloom, this Accelerator program is designed to nurture ideas and prototypes into flourishing business models. Engage in our rigorous training, gain from expert mentorship, and leverage our dynamic network to transform your social enterprise.

Key Dates to Remember

January 15, 2024

Applications Open

Jan. 25 & Feb. 1, 2024
February 16, 2024

Application Deadline

February 23, 2024

Enterprises are notified of selection into the Bootcamp

March 1, 2024

Bootcamp starts

April 5, 2024

Enterprises are notified of selection into Accelerator

April 16, 2024

Start of Accelerator Program

Early August, 2024

Demo Day

Meet the ACSI3 Bootcamp Teams

Meet the teams selected for the ACSI3 Bootcamp. Learn about their projects and how they plan to make a difference.

Program Benefit

Seed Funding

Receive up to $3,875 to support critical aspects of your business.

Extensive Training & Mentorship

Benefit from weekly training sessions and personalized mentorship.

Access to Bloom’s Network

Gain lifetime access to a vibrant community of mentors, investors, and fellow entrepreneurs.

Demo Day and Investor Networking

Showcase your enterprise and connect with potential investors for future growth.

Eligibility and Selection

Enterprise Stage

Open to enterprises at the idea or prototype stage.

Team Requirements

Minimum of two full-time team members.

Diversity and Inclusion

Strong emphasis on female-led teams & diverse enterprises.

Geographic Focus

The program is specifically designed for enterprises based in Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and the Syrian diaspora.

Thematic Areas

We're interested in enterprises contributing to areas like sustainability, good governance, independent media, active citizenship, lifelong learning, innovation, and systems change.

Restrictions: You cannot apply if you are a solo enterprise or if you will be part-taking in a similar program at the time of this program

ACSI3 Open House Events

Join us for a series of engaging Open House sessions at ACSI3! Get a first-hand look into our innovative ACSI3 program, meet key figures like Dara Mouracade, and hear success stories from our accomplished alumni. These events are perfect opportunities for you to immerse yourself in our community, learn about our growth framework, and have your queries addressed by experts.

Got a groundbreaking social enterprise idea? We're here to help it soar!

Apply now and be a part of this transformative journey.

Apply to ACSI3

Applications for ACSI3 are now closed.

Testimonials

ACSI3 Partnership Opportunity

Join us in driving social innovation. As a partner, leverage your expertise to shape and support groundbreaking social enterprises at their ideation or prototype stages. Your contribution is key to fostering systemic change and empowering communities in the MENA region. In addition, you'll receive:

Brand Exposure

Your presence on our website, event pages, emails, and social media ensures high-profile visibility.

Recognition

We celebrate your support with special acknowledgment posts and content on our digital channels.

Press Coverage

Your contributions may be highlighted in press releases and other communications for max exposure.

Promotional Opportunities

We actively promote the activities and opportunities of our partners to a targeted audience of enterprises.

Subsidized Access

Benefit from discounted rates for our platform's services, including training tailored for your team.

Networking & Events

Enjoy exclusive event invitations and connect with key industry and community leaders.

ACSI3 Partners

Alfanar Logo
AOU Logo
Techno Park Palestine Logo
TTI Logo

Organizers

The Asfari Foundation is a UK-based grant-making charity set up by Ayman and Sawsan Asfari in 2006. The Foundation focuses its efforts in the Levant and UK.

Through its grant-making programs, the Foundation invests in, and supports the sustainability of, a resilient and empowered civil society infrastructure and innovative youth, who can collectively lead a transformational positive change in their communities and countries.

Together with its valued partners, the Foundation is determined to realize its vision for a just world where people have equal opportunities to transform their lives, invest in their communities, and shape the future of their countries.

Bloom has supported entrepreneurship programs in the EuroMENA region for over 14 years and online and hybrid online & offline programs for 6 years, continually innovating our methods and tools to improve the learning experience for the participants, the growth of the enterprises, and our collective impact on our communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ACSI3 Accelerator program?

Building on the first two editions, the third edition of the Asfari Challenge for Social Innovation (ACSI3) program aims to support 13 social enterprises in their ideation or prototype stage based in Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and the Syrian diaspora. The Accelerator program aims to build the enterprises’ capacity with weekly training and mentorship facilitated by Bloom in partnership with the Asfari Foundation. Through Bloom’s online platform, training pedagogy, networks of experts, and customized curriculum, participating enterprises will develop their ideas and prototypes into functioning business ideas.

What are the key dates?

  • Public Launch and Applications Open on Jan 15, 2024
  • Open house starts on January 25, 2024
  • The application deadline is on February 16, 2024
  • Enterprises are notified of selection into the Bootcamp by February 23, 2024
  • Bootcamp starts on March 1, 2024
  • Bootcamp Demo day is on March 28, 2024
  • Enterprises are notified of selection into Accelerator by April 5, 2024
  • Accelerator starts on April 16, 2024
  • Demo day is on/around August 6, 2024

What benefits do I receive from the program?

  • Funding up to $3,875 to support an essential aspect of the business could improve growth and sustainability.
  • Training, mentorship, and other support during the three-month accelerator program
  • Lifetime access to Bloom’s resources and network of entrepreneurs, including mentors, investors, alums, and staff
  • Demo day exposure and other investor connections

How can we get funded after the program ends?

We provide the seed funding to get you going, but you may need more funding to continue your enterprise efforts. Near the end of the accelerator program, we’ll organize a Demo Day to help connect you with investors, funders, and organizations that could help you out in the following stages of your enterprise journey. We’ll coach you so you’re as effective as possible and do everything we can to help get you follow-on support and funding.

What language is the content delivered for the program?

The primary language in verbal and written communications during accelerator activities is English. However, we can also offer support and mentorship in Arabic or French. We may adapt those during the program to respond to the needs of enterprises.

What is a typical day and week for a team during the program?

It’s your enterprise, so you’ll be hard at work on your business, the product, marketing, HR, etc. We’ll have between one and three weekly sessions, from formal workshops to informal discussions with our mentors, trainers, and guests. Some of those are “required,” but many are optional, and we expect enterprises to adapt and join the critical sessions for issues they’re dealing with in their enterprise. We’ll also regularly have required check-ins with each enterprise, usually every month. In general, though, you’ll be working on your enterprise each day, just like all of the other founders in the program. We don’t tell you what to do or when, but we create an environment conducive to helping your enterprise daily. And we’ll ensure you have many experienced mentors around to help you.

What kind of enterprises are we looking for?

Social enterprises with specific areas of focus in sustainability, good governance, independent media, active citizenship, lifelong learning, innovation, and systems change.

How do you choose which enterprises to accept into the program?

This varies per program. We will use the following criteria to assess eligible applications. These are not all requirements, but preferences and enterprises will be weighed on the different elements:

  1. Impact: What difference will your idea make, and for whom, how many jobs will you create, what sort of marginalized communities will you impact, and whether you align with the priority impact areas: culture, mindset, and education.
  2. Capacity: What skills, knowledge, and resources do you have to develop and deliver your idea?
  3. Feasibility: Whether you can realistically deliver your idea by the end of the program and within budget.
  4. Sustainability: Whether your idea has the potential to become financially sustainable and last beyond the lifetime of the funding we provide.
  5. Stage of Enterprise and Product: Whether the enterprise is already generating revenue and the stage of development of the specific product or branch that this program will support.
  6. Inclusion and user testing: Whether the voices of your target clients have been included in the prototype/solution design, and whether your client base is inclusive of different demographics, backgrounds, sexes, etc.
  7. Innovation and growth potential: Whether your idea is new and different, and where or how it can potentially grow.

What kind of enterprises are eligible for the program?

Your enterprise is eligible if it meets the following criteria:

  • Your enterprise is in the idea or prototype stage
  • More than one person in the team, with at least two team members working full-time in the enterprise.
  • No restrictions on sociographic or other parameters regarding the applicants.
  • Female-led enterprises and enterprises with higher diversity (age, sex, socio-economic background, refugee/host communities, location around Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Syrian diaspora, etc.) are particularly encouraged to apply.

We are unable to support:

  • Enterprises of only one individual.
  • Enterprises engaged with other entrepreneurship/innovation programs/accelerators, unless there is a clear distinction between the program offerings, and enterprises can demonstrate that they have time and capacity to join this program in addition to their other program commitments.

What stage of enterprises is eligible for the program?

Imagine a spectrum of entrepreneurship running from learning about the concepts and skills to having a mature enterprise changing the world. Those stages are categorized as follows. For the sake of this challenge, we will focus on supporting enterprises as indicated in yellow below:

What does the program look like?

You will get access to an empowering program that will include monetary prizes, mentoring, access to opportunities, and more.

Open House:

  • Online discussions and “info sessions” with thought leaders to build awareness and momentum around the program.
  • Selection process

Bootcamp:

  • High-intensity two-week-long Bootcamp with workshops, mentorship, and support for all enterprises.
  • 1-on-1 follow-ups with the enterprises
  • Bootcamp Demo Day
  • Final selection

Accelerator:

  • Weekly or bi-weekly workshops adapted to the needs of the cohort and enterprises
  • Regular milestone check-ins with all enterprises
  • Mentorship coordination
  • Online or offline Demo Day, or otherwise optimized for the interests of partners and the needs of the enterprises to help the enterprises continue their growth path.

Where can I find more detailed instructions about the ACSI3 application process?

For a comprehensive understanding of the ACSI3 application process, including step-by-step instructions and helpful tips, please refer to our detailed PDF guide. This guide will provide you with in-depth information to navigate the application smoothly and answer common questions you might have.