Soufra food truck success: A message from Mariam

We are thrilled to announce that our crowdfunding campaign to buy a food truck for Soufra was successful.

Drum Roll: Soul-lifting music from Cairo comes to the London Jazz Festival

Londoners: prepare for your soul to be lifted and your senses awakened by some of the most inspiring young performers you have ever seen – all the way from Cairo. 

This Thursday 19 November, Donia, Hadi, Eslam and El Husseiny, all between the ages of 16 and 20, will be bringing their tablas, cajon and saxophone to Club Inégales in London to perform a short set as part of the London Jazz Festival.

Alfanar in Egypt: investing in lasting change

When Hamada was in Fourth Grade he couldn't read or write. Then he was enrolled in Educate-Me, and everything changed...

Investing in education

For every dollar spent on early learning for poor children, ten dollars comes back to a nation's GDP. This video showcases how Alfanar investees Educate-Me and the Future Light For Development Organisation (FLDO) have developed innovative approaches to giving children in slum areas in Cairo the chance of a better future:

A Year of Firsts: Alfanar Reception in New York

Alfanar's fundraising and communications assistant Olivia Dobbs reports back on Alfanar's first ever reception in New York.

2015 has been a year of growth for Alfanar. Our team grew in size, we moved offices, and we held our first team retreat in London. This week marked another exciting milestone: our first ever reception in New York.

Alfanar's portfolio grows

We're excited to announce two fantastic new additions to our Lebanon portfolio: Mommy Made and Inaash.

Alfanar started working in Lebanon three years ago. With these two new investments, we now have a portfolio of 5 ambitious, innovative organisations, all on a journey to becoming fully self-sustaining.

Mommy Made: ‘Learn and earn’

More cross-fertilisation – this time between Egypt and Lebanon

Last week for the first time, Alfanar’s Egypt Country Director Shenouda Bissada paid a visit to Lebanon. From the mountains above Jeita to the refugee camps of Beirut, Shenouda visited our diverse investments and learned more about their work.

Building bridges: Alfanar investees unite

Alfanar's Lebanon Country Director Teresa Chahine reflects on our first ever joint workshop for our investees in Lebanon.

Last week for the first time, Alfanar brought together all its investees in Lebanon in a team retreat. Gathering at our offices in Co-Working 961, we spent the day getting to know each other’s work, and discussing shared challenges and opportunities.

Introducing Alfanar’s new investees

We’re excited to announce some new additions to our growing portfolio: all innovating in different ways to empower women and give children a better start in life – and all on a journey towards becoming fully self sustaining.

Expanding in Egypt

We are investing in three ambitious grassroots organisations in Egypt:

Soufra: turning a vision into reality

A social entrepreneur with a vision...

In 2013, a woman called Mariam Shaar came to us with an idea. Mariam runs the Women's Programme Association (WPA) in the Burj al Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, which provides education, vocational skills training and microloans to women in the camps.

Business Planning Fun

Here at Alfanar, we focus a lot on business planning. To us, this includes the social impact model as well as the business model. Our investees are organizations which marry the two, finding ways to maximize their social impact in a financially sustainable way. We are the first and only funding organization working to build social enterprise in Lebanon, and we don’t do it with funding only. We roll up our sleeves and get in there, becoming part of the team.

Alfanar in Alliance Magazine: The Beginnings of Venture Philanthropy in the Arab World

This spring, Alfanar's Executive Director Myrna Atalla and Lebanon Director Teresa Chahine published an article in Alliance magazine describing the growth of venture philanthropy in the Middle East. The article outlines Alfanar's experiences over the past ten years as the first venture philanthropy organisation in the Arab world, and describes the growing ecosystem supporting social entrepreneurs in the region.

Passing the Baton: Spreading our impact from Egypt to Lebanon

March 31 marked the culmination of a two year widows empowerment program in Minya, Egypt implemented by Future Eve Foundation (FEF) with the support of Alfanar, the Global Fund for Widows and UK-DFID