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19 May 2023

BeChangeMaker: Iranian entrepreneurs promote mental health among intercultural families

Parian Hatami took part in BeChangeMaker 2022 with her World Familytech education technology project.

A major in Mathematics from Tehran, Iran, Parian Hatami is above all an entrepreneur. Since the beginning of her career, she has developed several applications in the field of education technology and worked hard to bring them to life.

It has not always been easy. At a point she almost gave up on becoming an entrepreneur, until World Familytech – her app promoting foundational skills and mental health – started to gain interest. She was selected to take part in one of Iran’s oldest and most well-known start-up acceleration programmes. Further opportunities to develop her project followed.

“The issue was that my previous business ideas were not a priority for people in Iran,” says Parian, as she explains why World Familytech tapped into the needs of modern life in Iran.

“Iran is a mixed multicultural, multi-ethnic country, there are Persians, Kurds, Arabs… When individuals from different backgrounds get married or create nuclear families, they face lots of cultural differences and family problems. World Familytech is mostly about families building an emotional and relational foundation.”

The structure of her business idea is rooted in her background in education technology, and founded in psychology. She is developing educational content, coaching, and mentoring sessions for couples and families, and addressing critical stages in the upbringing of children such as adolescence.

Parian applied for BeChangeMaker 2022. She knew of both HP Life and WorldSkills and was excited to know they had joined forces to bring a specific programme for social entrepreneurship. So, she created a pitch and recruited further team members, eager to help other young Iranians have access to the training.

On other programmes Parian had worked on improving her product, but BeChangeMaker allowed her to focus on strategic aspects to push forward World Familytech’s market readiness.

“One of the greatest values of BeChangeMaker for us was learning how to communicate with international investors. I personally couldn’t imagine collaborating or communicating with international investors. And after the programme we were completely prepared, with our documentation and outreach strategy,” says Parian.

The other important aspect of the training according to Parian, was that the programme helped them better understand what their product is and who their customers are. This was crucial in creating effective promotional and planning documents.

Parian says that start-up acceleration programmes such as BeChangeMaker are not just great tools for businesses, but also for encouraging a wider entrepreneurial mindset.

“But more than businesses, the founders are more important. A business can fail, but the founders can create new businesses, or they can pivot their business in order to work in a new field. And this is why I think accelerating and developing founders is much more important than developing a business,” she shares.

Brought together by WorldSkills and the HP Foundation, BeChangeMaker is on its 7th edition. Applications for BeChangeMaker 2023 are open until 3 June for entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years old.