SafirLab 2016-2018


Provide support to CSOs and social incubators on both sides of the Mediterranean.
Promote local and regional cohesion, prioritising the provision of support to projects located outside of capital cities and favouring those establishing interconnections between the Maghreb and the Mashriq.
Help to reduce gender inequality by ensuring that 60% of projects selected are being led by women and by supporting projects campaigning to protect women’s rights.
350 K
75Trained professionnals

A project

Supported by

In partnership with


Intended to act as an incubator, SafirLab is aimed at young people with innovative social projects in North Africa and the Middle East. The right to education, raising awareness of health-related issues, creation of citizen media, women's rights... Throughout the Arab world, young people are working hard to develop their societies, improve their everyday lives and promote freedom of expression.

A programme that acts as a catalyst for initiatives aimed at strengthening civil society and developing online media, SafirLab offers tailored support to one project leader from one of the eleven Arab world countries (Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen) for his or her projects, alternating between workshops aimed at boosting skills, personalised diagnostics and professional meetings held in the project's three working languages, French, English and Arabic.

SafirLab's aim is to support initiatives promoting development and stability within countries experiencing deep crises. By supporting these projects, the Institut français and CFI are working together with young people in the Arab world, helping them to build a promising future for their countries. A third of the 305 million inhabitants of Arab countries, i.e. 105 million people, are aged between 15 and 29 (UNDP study, November 2016). It is this young generation that SafirLab is targeting.

“By providing them with some key pointers, tools and advice from more experienced people, we will be able to move things along faster. By immediately offering them an entrepreneurial approach, we will be able to contribute to the longevity of the projects.”
Sophie Vannier, co-founder of the Social Factory

Project beneficiaries

75 project leaders (over 3 years), aged between 20 and 30 years old.

Project manager
Sylvie ORIO

Files to download


Call for applications

In collaboration with France's overseas cultural and cooperation network, a call for applications and selection of 25 business or community projects (in 2016 and 2017).

Related news
May 20, 2016

SafirLab: Launch of a call for applications

Social innovation is at the heart of the 2016 event. Applicants' dossiers must be submitted by midnight on 15 June 2016.
June 8, 2017

Apply to SafirLab 2017!

SafirLab, the French Institute and CFI laboratory for change, is launching a call for applications for its next edition.
May 14, 2018

SafirLab is recruiting for its new intake!

CFI and the Institut Français are calling for applications for the next edition of SafirLab. If you are aged between 20 and 30 and have an...

Training session in Paris

This session in Paris combines skills building workshops (a choice between finance and communication) with diagnostics and personalised support for projects and professional meetings tailored to the profile of each participant and the specific features of his or her project.

Corporate events intended to enable them to build upon their networks and inspirational meetings with key players in the social and solidarity-based economy and the French media are also on the agenda.

Related news
November 8, 2016

Social innovation at the heart of SafirLab 2016

To mark the 5 th edition of SafirLab, CFI and the French Institute have selected around twenty projects headed up by young people who are working...
November 8, 2017

Paris hosts the 6th edition of SafirLab

Twenty-five young people from nine Arab countries are meeting in Paris from 4 to 13 November 2017 to boost and give new impetus to the...

Incubation period within each of the project leaders’ countries

Following the session in Paris, the organisations making up the consortium of partners enter into a commitment to ensure that mentoring takes place and that the scale of the projects changes over the following nine months. They offer participants a review every two months and involve them in the events that they organise.

Related news
April 16, 2019

SafirLab: new incubation session in Tunis

The media projects selected for SafirLab 2018-19 came together in Tunisia at the beginning of April 2019 to receive tailored support, provided in...

Final group session: “summary and prospects for the development of the projects” in one of the eleven countries

Once the personalised monitoring has been completed, the participants are reconvened for a final group discussion session that will enable them to establish the next steps for their partnerships.

Related news
November 5, 2018

SafirLab welcomes 26 participants in Paris

The first SafirLab workshops begin this Monday 5 November in Paris. The 2018 programme received over 1000 applications and 26 participants were...
March 8, 2019

Female social innovation in the Mediterranean

On the occasion of International Women's Rights Day, here are some inspiring personalities behind various media projects and social innovation...
July 3, 2019

That’s a wrap for the 2018-2019 SafirLab promo!

The 2018-2019 SafirLab closing session was held at the Institut Français in Tunis on 12, 13 and 14 June 2019. The recipients met up after eight...
November 16, 2021

Tala Al Sharif

Tala Al-Sharif is originally from Hebron in Palestine. She is 25 years old and the creator of the first video platform dedicated to women in...