Baraka Blog

Growing thoughts

NYUAD Hackathon pics!

The NYUAD Hackathon event last night showed much potential for Arab youth, the winning team being Jordanian, competing with computer science students from across the world programming for social good.

nyuad hackathon

Rama Chakaki, CEO of Baraka Ventures, at the NYUAD Hackathon

To learn more about the event and our role, please view the former blog post.

More pictures are on their way!

Dubai for Acumen’s Social Entrepreneurship Event

Social Entrepreneurship: The Social Impact, an event organized by the Dubai for Acumen was a real inspiration, and the team at Baraka Ventures were very happy to have participated in the work leading up to the event, in planning and in kind sponsorship, and during the event.

Rama Chakaki, CEO of Baraka, moderated the panel of speakers, while Mahmoud Abu Wardeh, General Manager of Baraka, introduced his revolutionary idea of Limbuilder.

The ambiance of change makers was exhilarating and the speakers/ panelists gave very rewarding talks and discussions. The event initiated dialogue around ideas and platforms that motivate social entrepreneurship and development in the region, and was a great medium for collaboration amongst established entrepreneurs, social leaders of the region, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Our contributions in planning and in kind sponsorship:

  • Connected Dubai for Acumen with numerous social entrepreneurs from the region (speakers and panelists)
  • Helped brainstorm the points for discussion at the panel and instigate the talk
  • Suggested organizations that would like to exhibit and showcase their businesses

For pictures of the event, check out the following link

For more information about the event, the panelists and speakers, and organizers,  check out  Social Entrepreneurship: The Social Impact   on Facebook.

Leadership Bridge Programme updates!

The Leadership Bridge Programme, organized by the YAL Bahrain and 3BL Associates brought together over 50 Bahraini youth representing public and private schools to address challenges within their society.

Rama Chakaki, CEO of Baraka Ventures, who helped the students brainstorm their own social action projects, was ‘amazed by their creativity and imagination,’ as she shared on her facebook wall. ‘Bahrain youth ROCK!!’

The teams of students designed strategies to address the following:

  • supporting the Down’s syndrome community
  • listing issues of water pollution, women’s rights, bullying
  • engaging youth with preserving cultural heritage
  • encouraging interaction with the older generation
  • reviving traditional outdoor games with modern electronic games

Please read through the following articles for more information about the success of the event

2011 NYUAD International Hackathon

The universities in the region are surprising us with a growing interest in their youth’s exposure to entrepreneurship practices, innovation and collaboration through a series of highly creative events, a very promising sign.

The 2011 NYUAD International Hackathon, an event for social good in the Arab world will bring together computer science students with academics and technology experts from the region and beyond between October 27-30, at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus.

A team leader from the academic and technology experts will guide and mentor the students, who will compete through creating mobile and web applications dedicated to social good in the region. A panel of judges which includes Rama Chakaki, cofounder and CEO of Baraka Ventures, will then review these applications. Rama will also speak in an Q&A session about entrepreneurship in the Arab world, Baraka Ventures and other startups for social good.

To learn more about the event or to participate (nominate a student, mentor, lead a team, or apply as a judge or speaker), please visit the following website

Youth Leadership Bridge Program

The Gulf is booming with new social initiatives and programs. There is much opportunity in the region and it is very exciting to be a part of.

Take the 3-day Youth Leadership Bridge Program to be held in Bahrain from 20-22 October, a good example of these types of initiatives.

A group of 50 high school students will be learning about ethical leadership and leading through social impact. Co-organized by 3BL Associates and the Bahrain Chapter of the Young Arab Leaders, the program aims to introduce the students to social enterprise and then help them come up with their own social action project to address local, regional or global social issues.

Our own Rama Chakaki would be speaking about social enterprise and the Baraka ventures. Rama will also help these students brainstorm their own social action projects, engaging and inspiring the young minds.

Great initiative, looking forward to hear the outcomes!

Baraka listed as a useful resource for SMEs

Check out this interesting article on the journey taken a decade ago to launch a venture and Baraka being listed as a resources to help SME owners, amongst several others by The National –


Dubai for Acumen – Social Entrepreneurship: The Social Impact

The Dubai for Acumen event pictures are finally published! Check out them out on and get a glimpse of this inspirational evening.

The video will be out shortly, for those of you who were not able to attend or those wanting to keep a record of the evening.

For more information on the organizer, sponsors, speakers and panelists, please visit the event’s facebook page

Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa Report

The lack of comprehensive reporting on the MENA’s venture capital scene has left many aspiring entrepreneurs in the dark. With a new report published on the MENA Private Equity Association’s website, many would regard this as a relief. This document highlights the definition of venture capital, mentions some of the challenges, and lists the venture capital players in the region.

Baraka Ventures and two other organizations have been mentioned in this report as social venture capital, along with many other firms, angel seed and investment, incubators and technology parks, etc.

Please view the Venture Capital in the Middle East and North Africa report on