Appreciating the role of MCW Global in Empowering Youth in Innovation
MCW Global Young Leaders Fellowship is an efficient and interactive program, with the help of which Tunisian engineer Mohamed Dhaouafi built a clear action plan. Today, he is helping people with limb differences by providing advanced 3D-printed, affordable, and lightweight bionics arms.
In this month’s piece, Mohamed, the first participant from Tunisia in the Young Leaders Fellowship, elaborates on how being engaged with MCW Global supported him as a young activist and also provided an opportunity for him to represent his country internationally.
Here, he expands more on his important innovation, Cure Bionics, which you will read in more depth in this article, once again emphasizing the crucial role of young people in innovation and its rising future.
As previously mentioned, this project builds affordable prosthetics by developing 3D-printed bionic arms for people with limb differences and physical therapy solutions using virtual reality and gamification. This groundbreaking work was highlighted in Forbes 30 Under 30 Middle East 2020, where Mohamed’s endeavors toward creating affordable prosthetic limbs for those in need gained the deserved attention.
Today, four years after the founding of Cure Bionics, he speaks about his activism and his leadership in innovation and also shares an uplifting message with all MCW’s Global supporters.
MCW Global Building Resilience Through Tough Times
Although he first participated in the program back in 2017, Mohamed still clearly remembers how empowering the program was for him as an entrepreneur going through some tough moments.
In his own words, the program helped him clarify his vision, mission, and his future goals in the Cure Bionics startup.
“I was pursuing my graduation internship from my engineering university, and my project was “Creating a startup” by working on a business plan and on a prototype,” he recalls.
“The human interactions [in the program] were definitely an important part that had a huge positive impact on me, and the community of highly ambitious and supportive activists, leaders, and entrepreneurs provided us with emotional and mental energy.”
For Mohamed, being the first Tunisian participant in the program was both an opportunity and a responsibility.
“It was an opportunity because I was surprised when I could not find any Tunisian alumni in the program’s history. I was convinced that I will show the MCW Global team that we have great potential in Tunisia.”
In addition, he saw it as a responsibility.
“I saw it as a responsibility in the sense that I wanted to open the floor to other participants from Tunisia to take part in such an amazing program by perfectly representing my country as an activist and a human, and I hope I did it well.”
One cannot have any doubt about how great Mohamed did once we see how he did not use this opportunity only for himself. On the contrary, he also helped engage other Tunisian young leaders to apply to the program.
“Sharing is caring” is one of his favorite quotes, and he brought it to life while helping others to go through those experiences.
“When I look in the mirror, I can see the huge impact that it has on me, and I want others to have the same. I recommended applicants, helped them apply and shared the opportunity in youth networks.”
Now many Tunisians are part of the MCW Global Alumni network, and this brings a smile to Mohamed’s face.
Cure Bionics — Youth Innovation Improving Lives
Naturally, something else that gives him a smile from ear to ear is the beneficial effect of his startup.
In the beginning, he draws our attention to the fact that globally, there are more than 30 million persons with limb differences. Sadly, he goes on, only 5 % of them have access to prosthetics, 75% of them are not satisfied with what they have, and about 40% of the new amputees reject prosthetics and all of that for different reasons such as expensive cost, long manufacturing time, weight, the complexity of control, design, etc.
As a result, 95% of kids with disabilities never complete primary school, and about 90% of people with disabilities in developing countries are unemployed.
These disturbing facts made him give up on a unique internship opportunity in Canada and choose to work on his first prototype in his graduation internship at home.
“I started with limited resources; but very high ambitions,” Mohamed reveals.
Thanks to his ambitions and will, today, Cure Bionics is a startup that specializes in developing 3D-printed bionics arms that enhance the human body with multi-grip functionality and empowering aesthetics for below-elbow amputee adults and children aged eight and above with the aim to make it more accessible and cool-to-wear.
MCW Global Equipping Youth for Entrepreneurial Success
As always, when speaking about Cure Bionics, he highlights how joining paths with MCW Global strengthened the initiative.
The role of MCW Global in his empowerment lies in several areas.
In Mohamed’s view, his participation in the Young Leaders Fellowship allowed him to gain more skills on the project management level and more self-confidence.
“Along with this, very importantly, my participation in the Young Leaders Fellowship enhanced my entrepreneur skills.”
On a happy note, he has a message to spread to all young, motivated people who want to engage in innovation.
“First, do not do it because it is a trend. Do it because you believe in it and because you are passionate about it.”
Second, he believes the iceberg principle is valid here.
“What we see in every successful project is just the tip of the iceberg, and the rest is just pure hard work, pressure, stress, anxiety, hardships, perseverance, etc.”
He adds; do not be seduced by the roadshow and the nominations and prizes.
“You are on a mission to see long-term and use those opportunities just to enlarge your network and build a brand for yourself.”
Finally, he concludes it is acceptable to fail and that it is also all right to give up sometimes and be stronger for the next time.
We at MCW Global know many inspiring young leaders who crossed their paths with our programs.