ITU Young Innovator Competition winner provides solutions to youth unemployment in the Middle East

Gradberry_2At the start of 2011, when Syed Ahmed graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sharjah in the UAE, he did what most young college graduates do – he confidently entered the job market.

After six months and many unsuccessful job applications later, Syed found himself – like so many his age – frustrated and anxious about his future.

Many firms based in the Middle East have little to no knowledge of how to connect with university students and Syed found, through his own personal experience, that many of the current job websites in the region did not really cater to the needs of young people.

Existing employment websites were either too difficult to use or simply didn’t provide any job opportunities for graduates coming straight out of university.

Towards the end of 2011, Syed and his business partner Iba Masood developed an idea to create a careers portal online that specifically caters for young students and university graduates.

Together, they founded Gradberry which has evolved into the Middle East’s leading careers portal website. The website connects employers, universities, students and graduates through the utilization of social hiring techniques.

Gradberry assists in planting fruitful careers for its users by providing career advice and industry insights through their online blog, as well as internships and job opportunities through the site’s careers portal.

Currently, the start-up is based in the UAE, and is now also posting jobs and internships from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ireland and the UK.

Since winning the ITU Young Innovators Competition at ITU Telecom World 2012 in Dubai in October last year, Gradberry has grown from strength to strength.

Not only has the online platform’s user base grown, but in addition, Gradberry 2.0 will be launched in May 2013. Gradberry 2.0 will provide an improved experience for all its users with added functionality to help both students and employers better connect with each other on the website.

Gradberry has also further expanded into online education after successfully completing its first pilot test of the Gradberry Academy – an interactive online learning platform – in early February 2013.

As of March 2013 the Gradberry Academy has become a fully-fledged part of the Gradberry careers portal.

The Academy aims to assist students and graduates who wish to gain additional skills to improve their career prospects and land that dream job. It offers graduates and students industry skills that employers look for when hiring. Currently the Academy offers affordable courses in Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing, with new courses being added every month.

Based on the knowledge and experience gained at ITU Telecom World 2012, Gradberry has been able to fulfill its vision to not only provide students and graduates with a platform to find jobs but also a platform to instill the right knowledge needed for those jobs.

With soaring levels of youth unemployment becoming a major cause for concern around the world, ITU is proud to be involved in supporting and empowering young entrepreneurs from all around the world to come up with creative solutions which challenge society.

The search for innovative ideas to tackle youth unemployment and other challenges in society is continued in the ITU Young Innovators Competition 2013. There are six Global Challenges prospective applicants will be asked to solve.

ITU Telecom Young Innovators Competition provides young people with great ideas with the platform to win funding, and provides them with mentorship and ongoing support to ensure that their ideas become a reality.

If you are inspired to learn more or even to take part in the ITU Telecom World 2013 competition yourself, please click here for more information, visit our Facebook page or e-mail us at

DimitrinaBy: Dimitrina Todorova 

Ms. Dimitrina Todorova works for the Young Innovators Programme at ITU.  A recent graduate of the London School of Economics herself, she is passionate about including young people in the key conversations and highlighting their contribution to development through the use of ICTs.


  1. The fang of poverty is so strong on the young people world over. I strongly believe that with proper insight, there could exist so much income and job opportunities that comes with each emerged and emerging ICTs evolution. I suggest, if ITU could help develop custom program for young people between 24-35yrs. The bulk of the World problem revolves around this age bracket. what do you think. I am a young social activist from Nigeria.

  2. lovely post dimitrina

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