While in the Middle East in the early 2000s, Jacob Korenblum observed a situation that presented both a challenge and an opportunity for greater economic freedom in the region: the lack of internet access. In particular, many families in Palestine could not obtain reliable internet service due to limited network coverage and high costs. Still, Korenblum noticed that approximately 80 percent of residents had mobile devices.
This situation was common in developing countries worldwide. Although internet availability was low, mobile device adoption was high. In response, Korenblum co-founded Souktel in 2005, an NPO that aimed to connect job seekers with employers using SMS instead of requiring internet. Through Souktel, Korenblum helped thousands of mobile device users in Palestine connect with local employment opportunities. Over a decade, he helped the organization become a trusted partner in over 30 countries, supporting over 500,000 users. The organization also worked with partners to launch various social programs, from providing local communities with free legal advice to empowering women in the Middle East to pursue work outside the home.
After focusing on non-profit management for several years, Korenblum shifted his career focus to the governmental and private sectors in 2018. From 2018 to 2021, he managed digital policy development for the Government of Ontario. He supported the Ontario Digital Service in developing policies to deliver more straightforward, faster, and better digital services to Ontarians. This included COVID services that came to be used across Canada.