Saudi CEO funds Rhodes grant

The Rhodes Trust selects creative young leaders with a commitment to serving others.
Updated 15 April 2018
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Saudi CEO funds Rhodes grant

A new Rhodes scholarship has been announced in partnership with Saudi entrepreneur Mohammed Al-Agil and the Kingdom’s Ministry of Education.

Saudi students aged 19-25 will be eligible for the annual scholarship when applications open later this year.

The Rhodes Trust, based in Oxford, is hoping for a diverse set of applicants from around the Kingdom. Eligibility criteria will be published at www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/apply.

Al-Agil, co-founder of Jarir Bookstores and chairman of Jarir Marketing Co., is funding the annual Rhodes scholarship for Saudi Arabia.

The Rhodes Trust, the international scholarship program established at Oxford University in 1903, selects creative young leaders with a commitment to serving others. 

Charles Conn, CEO of the Rhodes Trust, said: “I am extremely pleased to announce another scholarship to add to the diverse annual cohort of courageous young leaders. Our mission will be to find those exceptional Saudi students a platform to explore their full potential as they prepare to make an impact on the world.

“The introduction of this scholarship comes at a time when the Kingdom is at the forefront of major economic and social transformations in line with Vision 2030. I look forward to welcoming our new scholar to Rhodes House in October 2019, and witnessing our community becoming increasingly more diverse.”

Al-Agil said: “I have benefited enormously from my education and the opportunities I have received from my country, and I believe that endowing a Rhodes scholarship to Saudi postgraduate students is a small gesture to pay back my fellow citizens.”

Jasir Alherbish, the Saudi Ministry of Education’s deputy for scholarships affairs, said: “We are excited about our collaboration with the Rhodes Trust and so keen about opening new horizons for our bright youngsters. It is yet one more excellent venue to be added to the Saudi distinguished scholarships. Thanks to Mohammed Al-Agil and the Rhodes Trust, as well as our team at the ministry, for making it happen.”


ICD & We-Fi empower women entrepreneurs

Updated 18 September 2019

ICD & We-Fi empower women entrepreneurs

With the aim of discussing how the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) can expand their relationship and integrate the gender themes into ICD’s operations and businesses, a meeting was held between Ayman Amin Sejiny, CEO of ICD; Wendy Teleki, head of We-Fi secretariat; and Samir Suleymanov, director strategic initiatives, World Bank, at ICD’s premises in Jeddah recently. The parties discussed the development and promotion of women’s entrepreneurship through innovative sustainable solutions to increase women’s access to economic opportunities in developing countries. 

Teleki highlighted the main objectives of We-Fi, which is to support women entrepreneurs around the world through programs that provide financing, capacity building and also promote enabling environments that allow women to become entrepreneurs and grow their businesses. We-Fi uses an ecosystem approach to develop programs at the country level that will break down barriers and create more opportunities for women.

During the meeting, Ayman said: “ICD and We-Fi are working together to enhance their initiatives and mandates in supporting the female society in all ICD’s member countries. We want to ensure that our lines of finance and our relationship with the 102 directly connected financial institutions we are dealing with will further enhance the funding, training to women entrepreneurs and to provide the required necessary support to women in all our member countries.”

Teleki said that We-Fi has six implementing partners (IP) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is one of them. “IsDB, along with ICD is supporting women entrepreneurs in fragile countries. In Yemen, they have a very interesting ongoing program named BRAVE Women. They target to train up to 500 women to learn to develop business plans in fragile and high-risk contexts and up to 400 of them will get access to funding on a matching grant basis. This program aims also to develop the relationship between those women entrepreneurs with the local banks and also lead companies to make sure those women have access to finance and markets to grow their businesses. Moreover, the IsDB and ICD will be implementing soon this BRAVE Women program in two other countries to improve the women’s entrepreneurship potential in key economic sectors and we look forward to seeing those programs happening in future,” she said.

We-Fi is a global platform that seeks to support over a 100,000 women around the world in the next five years and mobilize at least $2 billion from the public and private sector for further activities.