"Skin in the game:" Can social entrepreneurs take more risks?

Alfanar's friends and volunteers have always pushed us to ask, and answer, difficult questions. Zeina Farhat is one of those volunteers. Last year, she asked us whether there is a market for loans in Lebanon. And then she rolled up her sleeves to help us find the answer. Read more in her recent blog post in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and let us know what YOU think!

Alfanar Study Mission

An eventful year for Alfanar, 2014 saw the introduction of a new investment cycle, the expansion of our Board of Trustees, the addition of new team members and sad farewells to some of our amazing colleagues.  The year culminated however with a study mission to India where Alfanar was able to take two of its most successful investments to see a rising star in the world of social entrepreneurship.

From Slums to Drums: Young Egyptian Performers Come to Beirut

Sanayeh gardens, Beirut’s newly rehabilitated park, was filled with shouts on September 30 as youth scurried frantically across the park and municipal police patrolled the grounds. Today however, the frenzy was not caused by reports of a car bomb, local conflicts nor regional events. Rather the air was filled with excitement, inspiration, and overjoyed children and mothers. Darb el Ahmar Arts School, among Alfanar’s investees in Egypt, had been invited and commissioned by the Beirut municipality to perform its new theatrical musical “Lost and Found” in Beirut that week.

Ten Years of Success

On March 8, 2014 Alfanar celebrated its ten year anniversary with a close group of supporters at the Reform Club in London. Two hundred philanthropists gathered to review and reflect on the growth and accomplishments of the Arab world’s first venture philanthropy organization since its founding in 2004 by London-based banker Tarek Ben Halim.

We're celebrating: A graduation in Egypt

Across the world, nearly 50 percent of eligible children attend preschool. But in the Arab world, despite the growing evidence of the importance of early childhood education, less than one in five children get to preschool. And when they do, the quality of the programmes  in the region vary wildly, lacking a set curriculum, teacher training and attention to hygiene.

Alfanar's Impact in 2011

باللغة العربية

Despite uncertainty and major changes in 2011, Alfanar’s dedication to our partners in Egypt had a significant impact on people in need.  Through Alfanar’s support, our NGO partners in Egypt positively impacted 2,943 individuals living in disadvantaged communities through a variety of strategies explained below.


Investment in Focus: Improving the quality of early childhood education in Cairo's slum areas

باللغة العربية

In this newsletter, we highlight the progress made by one of our seven partner organisations in Egypt, the Future Lights for Development Organisation (FLDO), through its early childhood education and outreach model.


باللغة العربية

54% of the Arab region’s population is aged 25 or under. Alfanar is committed to engaging this critical population in its venture philanthropy work, believing strongly that the energy and creativity of the next generation must be harnessed if we are to resolve many of the region's development challenges.

Investments in Action

باللغة العربية

Alfanar’s Managing Director Myrna Atalla and SODIC Senior Communications Manager Nadine Okasha work with Bashayer’s management team in Egypt to analyse sales and costing issues. Bashayer’s cooperative sewing and crochet production unit, located in Helwan, employed 185 women in 2011.

News from Alfanar

As historic events in Egypt unfold, it is clear that more will be needed from us in the months to come. Alfanar's objective of building strong, long-lasting organisations that effectively respond to community needs over time has never been more pertinent. Your continued support is not merely integral to the growth and expansion of this process, it is vital.

Alfanar's Success - A Tribute to the Strength of Tarek Ben Halim's Vision

Thoughts from Alfanar's Board Chair, Lubna S. Olayan Dear Friends, 2010 was a remarkably challenging, yet enriching year for Alfanar, the Arab world’s first venture philanthropy organisation.  On December 11, 2009, we lost our inspired founder and the world lost a visionary, my very dear friend Tarek Ben Halim.  Today, as we report to you on Alfanar’s progress, we are proud to attribute our success to Tarek’s inspiration and his growing legacy.