SPARK offers access to higher education and supports entrepreneurship development in fragile states so that young, ambitious people can lead their societies into stability and prosperity.
How We Work
Private sector development
SPARK offers a variety of business and entrepreneurship programmes around the world. We believe that sustainable, economic growth is essential for the alleviation of poverty. By offering private-sector development services to young people in conflict-affected regions, we believe that the potential for further conflict is significantly reduced.
In terms of business development in fragile states, we are a full-service organisation. We offer a range of options that enable local partner organisations to provide existing SME’s and new entrepreneurs with all the tools they need to flourish. In the past decade, SPARK has set up around ten Business Support Centres in the EU and Africa. Business plan competitions are also often organised, and winners of these competitions receive business skills trainings. Another of the tools we offer is value chain development and access to finance. Finally, we work closely with various governments in fragile states to improve conditions for entrepreneurs and job creators.
Access to higher education
SPARK is responding to the higher education crisis for Syrian refugees and vulnerable youth residing in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq/KRG. A lack of opportunities can lead young adults into poverty, radicalisation or to take the dangerous journey to Europe. By offering young people a chance to continue their education in the region, an educated workforce will be available to rebuild Syria once the conflict is over. Scholarships are offered for courses necessary for rebuilding, e.g. Civil Engineering, Childhood Education and Psychology.
In the MENA region, SPARK offers three solutions; scholarship packages, language & vocational trainings, and advocacy. Our scholarship packages allow vulnerable young people, primarily Syrian refugees, to access higher education in the region. By partnering with local universities, we ensure that successful applicants are automatically offered a place at an institution, without having to further apply. The packages also offer student services, including psychosocial support; economic empowerment courses; and leadership development. In addition to these activities, smaller-scale vocational and language courses are provided. Finally, SPARK encourages hosting governments to introduce better regulations for integrating refugees into the educational system.