Behind the LIFE Project is a dream-team consortium of partners providing their expertise from every angle.
The Center for International Private Enterprise, CIPE, is a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy and an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce based in Washington, D.C. As the Consortium lead, CIPE has designed a team to specifically manage the LIFE Project and its partnerships across the globe. CIPE has a track record of success working with local partners to support entrepreneurial activity in Syria, Turkey, and across the MENA region, working with local partners to support entrepreneurial activity.
The International Development Consultancy, IDEMA, serves as the implementing lead of the LIFE Project in Turkey, from designing and managing the FEC, to delivering entrepreneurship support, workshops, and events. IDEMA is committed to providing meaningful impact through developing and implementing projects, realizing innovative solutions towards development obstacles, and serving as a hub for development practitioners to form global partnerships.
Union Kitchen is among the leading food and beverage business accelerators in the U.S., and provides the LIFE Project with tried and true expertise on facility design and management, entrepreneurship incubation, and follow-on support services. Based in Washington, D.C. Union Kitchen's program guides entrepreneurs through establishing their businesses, from concept to launch, launch to local saturation, and multi-regional expansion with a tailored curriculum, networks, and strong local ecosystem.
The Stimson Center is a nonpartisan policy research center based in Washington, D.C. , with a program devoted to food security and the intersection of conflict and food, led by gastrodiplomacy expert Johanna Mendelson Forman. Mendelson Forman is a Scholar in Residence at American University where she teaches Conflict Cuisine: An Introduction to War and Peace around the Dinner Table. Stimson supports the LIFE Project gastrodiplomacy events from concept to execution.
The William Davidson Institute, WDI, at the University of Michigan is an independent non-profit research and educational organization with expertise in entrepreneurship development in low- and middle-income countries. In designing the curriculum and structured mentorship program for the LIFE Project, WDI has shared best practices in entrepreneurship support for LIFE Members.
We've teamed up with the resource partners below for their expert knowledge and support.
Savoring Syria is a multi-platform storytelling project devoted to telling the stories of Syria and Syrians through the lens of food and building communities over shared culinary experiences. Founder Dalia Mortada has lent the LIFE Project her expertise on the Syrian communities in Turkey, Syrian culinary traditions, and the food sector in Turkey. Learn more about Savoring Syria.
Kök Projekt works in the food sector in Turkey to develop successful, viable businesses. Kök Projekt co-founder Shirley Kaston has worked alongside the William Davidson Institute to provide expert, localized content to the LIFE Project entrepreneurship curriculum. Kök has also connected LIFE entrepreneurs with mentors and development opportunities. Learn more about Kök Projekt and their projects.
Komeeda is a marketplace based out of New York City that empowers food entrepreneurs through curated experiences. Co-founder Nasser Jaber traveled to the LIFE Project’s Istanbul-based Food Enterprise Center to host specialty workshops and conduct one-on-one mentoring sessions with LIFE entrepreneurs, and continues to provide ongoing support. Learn more about Komeeda.