Dubai : APCO Worldwide launched ignite, a scalable, dedicated integrated communications offering for startups, entrepreneurs and SMEs that will facilitate market entry, drive business growth and help open high-potential investment opportunities for the growing number of new businesses in Dubai, Mamoon Sbeih, president of APCO in the MENA region, announced today.

“It is a proud moment for us at APCO Worldwide as we roll out ignite, our latest innovative offering for Dubai,” said Sbeih. “It is through our diverse set of clients that our team noticed the growing number of startups and entrepreneurs in Dubai, and their need for PR and digital, creative, storytelling, insights support at accessible rates. ignite is our response to this widening gap in the market.” The offering will be available, via an application process, to up to 10 organizations or individuals per year.   

The launch of ignite comes at a time when the startup ecosystem continues to gain momentum in the Middle East region, registering a record year of funding in 2018 with $893 million invested in 366 startup deals, according to Magnitt’s 2018 MENA Venture Investment Report. Closer to home, the UAE Cabinet’s latest visa and investment policies have made the country even more welcoming to entrepreneurs seeking to set up new ventures. ignite has already been effectively applied for an APCO client Mums@Work to develop and execute strategies to create brand awareness, expand network exposure and generate investment opportunities. ignite will be led by Rakhee Raval Shepherd, account director, Client Servicing, who already manages a portfolio of clients with entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs across the UAE for APCO in Dubai.

“With the current landscape continually evolving for startups and entrepreneurs, we have closely studied and identified the communication challenges they face,” said Shepherd. “We believe that by creating a model specifically designed for individual businesses, we will bring value to an area that is still in its nascent stage of growth. We are keen to work with the leaders of tomorrow to help envision and build a future together.”

The launch also comes during a landmark year for APCO, as 2019 marks its 35th anniversary. Founded by Margery Kraus as a single-person operation in 1984, APCO has grown into a global advisory and advocacy communications consultancy with nearly 800 employees based in more than 30 global markets. It remains a majority women-owned, independent company to this day. This independence fuels APCO’s entrepreneurial spirit, and gives employees creative license to think bolder, take smart risks and create market opportunities where they exist, which is how ignite was developed. APCO was recently named Best Middle East Consultancy at PRWeek’s Global Awards and expanded its presence in the MENA region with the opening of a new office in Manama, Bahrain.

For further information on ignite, please visit  or contact us at 


About APCO Worldwide

APCO Worldwide is an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy. We partner with public and private sector organizations to help them act with agility and build organizational reputations, brands, relationships and solutions to succeed. APCO is an independent and majority women-owned business. For more information, please visit 

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