Program pairs undergraduate students from Dearborn, Ann Arbor, with North African peers to find entrepreneurial solutions to social challenges

October 30, 2017

The virtual exchange program currently is recruiting students from UM-Dearborn, with applications due Dec. 1.

An new program pairs undergraduate students from University of Michigan-Dearborn and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with their peers in four North African nations to find entrepreneurial solutions to social challenges in the region.


Through a virtual exchange, the U-M students will be teamed with fellow students in Morocco, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Together, the teams will develop and launch social entrepreneurship projects with the help of instructors, mentors and successful entrepreneurs from Michigan and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.


The program, the MENA-Michigan Initiative for Global Action Through Entrepreneurship (M2-GATE), will support three, eight-week cohorts. Each cohort of 128 MENA students and 64 U-M students will culminate in a virtual competition. Judges will look for scalable solutions that  feature science, technology, engineering and math – or, STEM-based – innovations. The winners will have the opportunity to travel to Michigan to interact with entrepreneurs in Ann Arbor and Detroit, and pitch their projects to an expert panel for feedback and further development.


“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to work cross-culturally, forge new international connections and gain exactly the type of 21st century skills needed to succeed in today’s global economy,” said Amy Gillett, vice president of WDI’s Education Initiative.


UM-Dearborn students can learn more at an informational session Nov. 13, 3 p.m., at the Talent Gateway Commons, Suite 285 Fairlane Center North (FNC). More information also can be found at The application deadline is Dec. 1.