100 students with Coca-Cola chairman Muhtar Kent, in Georgia
The Coca-Cola Company sponsored 100 college students from eight countries across North Africa, the Middle East, and Near Asia to attend a residential Summer Entrepreneurship Programme
at Indiana University\'s Kelley School of Business in early June 2013.
For the second year, The Coca-Cola Company continued its partnership with the US Department of State and Indiana University to support and to empower the next generation of youth by enhancing their business skills and promoting social entrepreneurship across the region. The students were selected based on their practical ideas to \"Make Tomorrow Better\" in their home countries and during the scholarship programme their studies included developing a Business Plan, Social Entrepreneurship, and Non-Profit Management. They also participated in interactive sessions, visited local businesses and presented their business ideas to a panel of expert judges including venture capitalists, academics and business leaders.
\"With more than 7,000 applications and over 360,000 people registering online to vote for their favourite ideas, this was the most successful MENA Scholars\' Programme yet\", said Hamish Banks, Coca-Cola\'s Public Affairs and Communications Director for Middle East and North Africa. \"These remarkable young men and women have not only learned about American business practice and culture but have also forged lifetime connections across the region.\"
Following their studies at the Kelley School of Business, the students travelled to Washington DC and were hosted at the US Chamber of Commerce where they were inspired by a panel of successful businesspeople from the region and shared their own perspective on the leadership role of youth. Later, they visited the US State Department where they again presented their business ideas and engaged in open debate with senior diplomats and policymakers. The students\' programme concluded with a visit to the Coca-Cola Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia for a private reception with Mr Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
\"A dream I will never forget. I learned how to draw my future with my own hands; everything I learned will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thank you Coca-Cola for making me happy with this unforgettable experience\". Said Nourhan el-Ashkar one of the Egyptian scholars.
\"The Coca-Cola Company understands that for its business to be successful over the long-term, the communities in which it operates need to be sustainable - sustainable economically, sustainable environmentally, and with strong community support systems. As a local business in each one of the countries across the region, The Coca-Cola Company seeks to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Palestinian Authority, Pakistan and Afghanistan so that they can create the local companies and NGOs which will \"Make Tomorrow Better\" in their own communities,\" said Curt Ferguson, President, Coca-Cola Middle East & North Africa.