SE Factory helps underprivileged Lebanese youth secure steady employment in coding work. 

Facts & Figures
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  • Location: Beirut, Lebanon
  • Alfanar Investee Since: 2018
  • Total Alfanar Investment to Date: £101,757
  • Social Impact Achieved: 94 low-income youth trained
  • Website: sefactory.io
  • Supported By:
  • SDGs:

The Challenge

In Lebanon, youth from low-income backgrounds who study in public schools or low-tuition private/technical universities often graduate without the appropriate skills for successful employment. In parallel, Lebanon’s tech sector suffers from a significant shortage of qualified talent, slowing the growth of Lebanon’s emerging tech ecosystem. With an ever-increasing strain on schooling, especially since the beginning of the Syrian Crisis, the gap between the skillset of unemployed youth and the needs of employers is only worsening. Disproportionately impacting those from low-income backgrounds, it is clear that steps must be taken to resolve this situation.

The Organisation

SE Factory is an intensive three-month coding bootcamp and job creation initiative which aims to improve the employability of underprivileged youth by facilitating their employment in the tech sector. Strong demand for these skills means that, upon completing the course, participants are all but guaranteed successful employment, offering potential participants an opportunity to transform their lives forever.

For those selected, SE Factory’s boot camp costs participants only $100, making it accessible to low-income applicants who would otherwise be excluded from alternative coding academies. Furthermore, 20% of SE Factory’s curriculum focuses on soft skills, building the interpersonal capabilities that are crucial to successful employment. Over the past three years, they have trained 120 youth, with a 90% employment success rate.

What has been Achieved with Alfanar's Support

In the pilot year, Alfanar's investment enabled SE Factory to train 41 marginalised youth through bootcamps, as well as reach a further 332 youth through their blended learning programme. Alfanar also provided training, mentorship and technical assistance around governance, organisational structuring and impact modelling and measurement.

Since only 15% of applicants are accepted into SE Factory's core bootcamp, Alfanar also supported the development of a blended learning programme to improve the basic coding skills of marginalised youth between the ages of 19-25. The programme consists of a self-guided online course, reinforced by in-class instruction, and aims to help prospective students acquire the skills needed to be accepted onto SE Factory's core bootcamp. This has also served to improve SE Factory’s ability to generate sustainable income, as there is great demand for courses of this type.

Alfanar's Investment: Looking Ahead

Moving into long-term investment, Alfanar will continue to support SE Factory to reach more marginalised youth through their bootcamps and blended learning programme, to strengthen their model and organisational capacity, and to diversify their income to ensure financial sustainability. This will include forming partnerships with universities, especially in the Gulf, to push their services as an e-tutoring opportunity.

Alfanar has partnered with the Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE) to further support the aims of Alfanar's investment, by building up their revenue streams to improve financial sustainability and scaling SE Factory's training and employment model to reach 220 more marginalised Lebanese youth through the blended learning programme and 54 through bootcamps. Alfanar's investment will strengthen SE Factory's employment capacity to ensure that at least 85% of graduates secure full-time jobs.

Furthermore, with generous support from the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE), SE Factory launched a new programme in July 2019 which will allow them to deploy their blended learning course and coding boot camp to 240 vulnerable Lebanese refugee youth through 12 cycles over a two year period. The programme will support SE Factory to adapt the blended learning course content and delivery to the refugee population.