GAME has officially launched the first incubator for Street sports in the Middle East in March 2019 together with GAME’s local partner, Jordan Youth Innovation Forum. 44 young Jordanians found their way to this incubator that aims to inspire and stimulate their entrepreneurial skills to create opportunities and initiatives from sports. The goal is to create real business opportunities for youth – both for-profit and nonprofit.

For one-year GAME has worked together with Jordan Youth Innovation Forum to enable young people of Jordan to run street sports for children in their local communities. Now the two organizations have come together around the first incubator for street sports in the Middle East to support local entrepreneurs. The initiative is highly needed as youth unemployment in Jordan has risen over the past decade and is currently at around 40%.

Apps and public spaces
44 Jordanian youth from all over the country participated in the first incubator event under the supervision of a group of judges and mentors in the field of innovation development. The ideas they brought with them spanned broadly – from app development that will help team players connect across divides to repurposing public space to introduce new sports.

– Meeting the young entrepreneurs and learning more about their ideas for new initiatives has been truly inspiring. From urban boys to rural girls, all do they have the mindset needed to create more opportunities for youth in Jordan. We’re looking much forward to following them over the coming months and support them in creating impact and revenue, says Simon Prahm, GAME’s CEO and co-founder.

The project is strongly inspired by GAME’s Danish Platform for Street Sports and is funded by The Danish Arab Partnership Program (DAPP).

The new entrepreneurs of Jordan
This incubator consists of four main stages starting with this first event developing creative ideas and encouraging their founders to formulate and present them. One of the young participants who showed up was 15-year-old Zaina Bani Hani from Amman in Jordan. She wants to introduce girls in rural areas to different types of sport.

– My initial idea has been developed through these two days, I received, and I benefited a lot from the feedback I got from the mentors, I met new people and I heard a lot of new ideas that inspired me, says Zaina Bani Hani.

Many of the participants have no previous experience with entrepreneurship. The width in their backgrounds and capabilities are significant, ranging from 10th graders, university students, disabled to elite athletes. All do they share the dream of becoming their own boss and get hands on some of the 100,000 USD that will be distributed to viable initiatives through seed grants.

– The Street Sports Incubator is essential in developing the youth’s entrepreneurial sense in sports because it provides new opportunities for young people to grow, obtain funding and find suitable investors for their ideas as startups or social initiatives that have an impact on society by using sport, says Ali Haddad, Executive Director of Jordan Youth Innovation Forum.

The best ideas are chosen for a three- to six-month journey of mentoring and economical support.

Stay tuned: Street Sports Incubator Jordan