The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan
The M²GATE program, implemented by the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, brought together undergraduate students from Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia with their peers in Michigan to collaborate virtually on real-world learning projects and design social enterprises. In the process, students gained 21st century skills in leadership, teamwork, and cross-cultural communication, among others. Aseel Saad is one such student. Aseel is a program alumna who, since completing the program, has built on her virtual exchange experience in inspiring new directions.
In December 2017, I got my acceptance email to join M2GATE after getting rejected from 20 other entrepreneurial programs.
M2GATE gave me the opportunity not only to know how to start, build and pitch a project, but also to meet a large number of experts, who gave me all the support I needed.
A few months after I received my M2GATE program certificate, I joined the “Drivers For Change” Program in the UK to visit social enterprises in eight cities: including London, Liverpool, Bradford, Edinburgh, Sunderland, and Birmingham. I was also able to take part in the Social Enterprise World Forum in Edinburgh last September, where I socialized with social entrepreneurs and shared my social enterprise idea.
This wouldn’t have happened without the M2GATE program. Through M2GATE I discovered some new skills in myself that I didn’t know about, like video editing and leadership. M2GATE was a turning point. It let me understand my potential and discover my hidden skills. After being rejected from many programs, M2GATE gave me the skills and confidence I needed to gain more opportunities.
Soon after returning from the UK, in January 2019, I started my own social enterprise, “TripleT Courses” – and here comes the best part of my story.
TripleT Courses is an internet-based social enterprise addressing the quality education goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through offering one-to-one online language training courses that are flexible and affordable.
"M2GATE was a turning point. It let me understand my potential and discover my hidden skills."
Aseel Saad, Alumna, M2GATE
So far, I have held twelve free sessions for new clients and an outing. When I opened the application for a free trial session, I received 40 applications! I plan to further develop the project by contacting large organizations. With my new video and pitching skills, I have created two promotional videos on the TripleT Facebook page; you can watch them here and here.
As I begin this new enterprise, I want to give a big shout out to the M2GATE team at the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan and the Stevens Initiative for all the different kinds of support I had in the M2GATE program.
This story was originally published by The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.