Agora Arts and Culture, an Alexandria-based organisation created by Reem Kassem, 2013 Chevening Scholar on the Clore Leadership Programme, has been announced as a winner of the Social Innovation for Employment contest.
The competition, co-organised by NGO Nahdet El Mahrousa and Barclays Bank Egypt, aims to combat rising unemployment in Egypt by supporting innovative start-ups. Of the 262 initiatives that entered, eight won prizes totalling 300,000 EGP.
Established by Reem in 2011, Agora Arts and Culture connects arts practice and informal education with social development. One strand of its work involves training young women in artistic crafts such as jewellery and painting, while supporting them to launch their own businesses.
Reem is also Head of Performing Arts Programming at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Arts Center. She is currently completing her Clore Fellowship, and is seconded to the Southbank Centre.
Reem says that “creative, healthy, well and happy societies are what we seek to achieve in Egypt.”