During his stay in the Middle East in the early 2000s, Jacob Korenblum observed an unexpected challenge and an opportunity for greater economic freedom in the region: the lack of internet connectivity. Many families in Palestine, in particular, could not access dependable internet service due to restricted network coverage and high pricing. At the same time, Korenblum found that around 80% of the local population owned mobile devices.
This was the case in innumerable emerging nations throughout the world. Mobile device adoption was high despite the limited availability of the internet. In 2005, Jacob co-founded an organization named Souktel, which is derived from the Arabic terms for "telephone" and "market." This social enterprise aimed to connect job searchers with companies via SMS rather than the internet.
Using Souktel, Korenblum connected tens of thousands of Palestinian mobile device users with local employment prospects. For over a decade, Korenblum aided the social enterprise in becoming a trusted partner in many nations, assisting over 500,000 users in approximately 30 countries. The group also collaborated with partners to create a range of social activities, such as assisting communities in obtaining free local legal counsel and empowering women in the Middle East to pursue employment outside the house.
In 2018, Jacob Korenblum moved his professional focus from nonprofit administration to the public and private sectors. From 2018 to 2021, Korenblum oversaw the creation of a digital strategy for the Ontario government. In this capacity, he assisted the Ontario Digital Service in developing policies that enabled the delivery of simpler, faster, and superior digital services to Ontarians, including COVID services that were eventually adopted across Canada.
- Toronto, ON, USA
- JoinedFebruary 17, 2023