Ma’an encourages youth to develop social enterprises

RetailME Bureau

Young people and social entrepreneurs across the UAE are being encouraged to apply for a new initiative that will help grow social start-up companies in Abu Dhabi, through a programme called Ma’an.

Launched by the Authority for Social Contribution, the Ma’an Social Incubator is a first-of-its-kind programme in Abu Dhabi, offering a unique chance for young entrepreneurial students to develop their innovative ideas for social impact into a social enterprise or not-for-profit association.

Ten winning teams of two or three people will be supported through each six-month cycle to develop their social business. The winning teams are selected according to specific criteria, and the participants will be able to benefit from mentor guidance, milestone funding, office space, business expertise and access to investors. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to network with industry experts as well as honing their business skills through workshops and training programmes.

Ma’an is keen to receive applications from youth, entrepreneurs, students and graduates in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and internationally whose skills in innovation and research will be valuable in developing evidence-based social businesses through the Ma’an Social Incubator.

Commenting on the programme, Salama Al Ameemi, director general of Ma’an, says, “Social enterprises and not-for-profit associations in the third sector represent a real opportunity for young people to build a promising and successful career, and contribute to the public benefit of society in their home country. The third sector in Abu Dhabi is going from strength to strength. With the support of Ma’an, our social incubator programme will provide aspiring social entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to get expert business advice and network with the capital’s business community and investors. What we ask in return is that applicants have both passion and a commitment to be active as well as a great business idea that contributes towards the social good.”

Applicants must be committed to developing their social business through the incubator over a period of six months. The first cycle, launching this summer, is focused specifically on creating life-changing products or services that will benefit the everyday lives of people of determination.

The deadline to register for Ma’an Social Incubator is June 13, 2019. Applicants must be 18 years and above and should be living in or willing to relocate to Abu Dhabi.