Entrepreneurship as a catalyst for social change

Courtney Hale, Knowledge Bank

What inspired you to take the path you’ve chosen as an entrepreneur and change agent?

Ahmed
My journey started in high school — not that long ago — when I got an invitation to go to a journalism conference in Washington, DC. It was absolutely life-changing. At the same time I was struggling with identity — what does it mean to be Iraqi, American, a refugee, Muslim?

How do you view your role in identifying and solving societal and economic issues in your community?

Ahmed
My role is storyteller and someone who can create different spaces for expression through stories — platforms for people to express themselves. I am a former refugee, so that is a group that I feel deeply connected to.

Why is storytelling critical to creating a platform for progress?

Ahmed
I think it comes down to creating different spaces for young people to claim as their own. Especially with refugees, the narrative has been co-opted by institutions and media outlets. But when you give young people a chance to tell their stories on their own terms, it becomes much more genuine to the individual’s future and to the communities they’re working with and they represent.

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