• By joining forces VSQ and GMIS aim to empower the value chain for early-stage, mission-driven global technologies and to educate and nurture the next generation of mission-driven stakeholders from the UAE and beyond.
  • The Partnership was announced at The Global Prosperity Conference, held on November 24, 2021 as part of the six-day GMIS Week at the EXPO 2020 Dubai Exhibition Centre 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit and VentureSouq, today signed a memorandum of understanding outlining their intention to launch a partnership that will lead to the deployment of capital to empower the value chain for early-stage, mission-driven global technologies. The parties will collaborate to educate and nurture the next generation of early-stage technology companies led by consciously-driven founders who are looking to make a positive social, environmental or economic impact and advance one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

VentureSouq, a Dubai-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in technology businesses, and the Global Manufactuirng and Industrilisation Summit will also bring together other investors and stakeholders who believe in the financial benefits of integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into their investment decisions. The efforts of the partnership will be focused on the deployment of seed and series A capital to start-ups in the MENA, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia regions with FinTech, FoodTech or ClimateTech solutions that demonstrate potential for significant scale and profitability. This partnership comes in the wake of the completion of the 2nd successful cohort of the Conscious Investor Fellowship (a regional educational program oriented towards corporate, institutional and family office investors), as well as the full deployment of an impact-focused investment vehicle, managed by VentureSouq, called the Conscious Collective.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by Sonia Weymuller, Partner at VentureSouq, and Namir Hourani, Managing Director of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, during the Global Prosperity Conference at Dubai Exhibition Centre at EXPO 2020 on November 24, 2021. Also present at the announcement were Badr Al Olama, Head of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit Organising Committee and Tammer Qaddumi, Partner at VentureSouq.

Namir Hourani, Managing Director of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation, said: “Supporting start-ups and innovators is a core element in our ongoing drive to promote inclusivity, sustainability and impact at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit. In 2017, we launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity to encourage innovators to deploy their solutions towards solving real-world problems. The initiative was an eye-opener, highlighting the tremendous potential impact technology can have on our societies. This, coupled with the reality that investors are no longer ready to invest in companies that do not consider ESG factors within their core strategy, fueled the decision towards partnering with VentureSouq to explore the opportunity of collaborating in the impact investment and education space together.”

Sonia Weymuller, Founding Partner at VentureSouq, said: “The venture capital landscape is rapidly evolving. The next generation of investors understand it is high time to give their capital more purpose by supporting founders who are harnessing the power of technology to enable positive social, environmental and economic impact, at scale. The pandemic and its ramifications served to accelerate this broader movement towards conscious investing; we see the potential for technology to act as a multiplier for positive impact and for venture capital to magnify it. Together with GMIS we want to provide regional stakeholders with the tools to make sound investment decisions to support ventures that reflect this ethos.”

The MoU was signed following a session titled ‘Scaling Impact Investment: Prosperity at a Price?’  that was attended by H. E. Ahmed Taleb Ali Al Shamsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation, Sarah Pirzada Usmani, Managing Director and Head of Sustainable, Asset & Project Finance at the First Abu Dhabi Bank, Dr. Raphael Nagel, Founder and Chairman of the Abraham Business Circle; Beau Seil, Partner at Patamar Capital; Busi Mabuza, Chair of the Board at the Industrial Development Corporation, South Africa; and Sabah Al Binali, Partner and Head of Gulf Region of Our Crowd. It opened a discussion surrounding the potential of impact investments, and the need to establish greater alignment among the investment community, private sector and government entities.

 Sarah Pirzada Usmani, Managing Director and Head of Sustainable, Asset & Project Finance at the First Abu Dhabi Bank, pointed: “While Governments are ideally positioned to drive the ESG initiatives and lead on environmental sustainability actions, it is equally important for the public and private sector to work together to ensure a more sustainable future. Private-sector partnerships are crucial to promote sustainable business practices which can help drive the change towards sustainability and also contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.

The Global Prosperity Conference was held alongside the GMIS Week at EXPO’s Dubai Exhibition Centre, which gathered a cross-section of over 250 global leaders from the public and private sector. The GMIS Week included the two-day #GMIS2021 Summit on November 22-23, an Alternative & Renewable Energy Conference – The Green Chain Conference – on November 24, and country focused sessions in partnership with the United Kingdom, Australia, and Italy. Throughout the six-day event, a manufacturing and advanced technology exhibition is featuring over 30 world-class exhibitors to highlight the UAE government’s ‘Make it in the Emirates’ campaign, a first-of-its-kind initiative to encourage local and international investors, developers and innovators to benefit from the facilities and incentives offered by the country’s industrial sector.

 Participants can register to attend the GMIS Week at https://gmisummit.com/registration . The programme agenda is available at the following link: https://gmisummit.com 


About the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity:

A gift from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, to the world – The Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) Initiative for Global Prosperity is an ambitious and impactful worldwide extension of the UAE’s own transformational vision, built on four core values: resilience, community, harmony, and dignity. It combines the Global Maker Challenge – an online open-innovation platform for ‘makers’ and innovators to solve specific real-world challenges, and the Global Prosperity Award – a prestigious global accolade that recognises and rewards social innovation brought by manufacturing for the betterment of humanity. The Initiative brings together companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs, governments and NGOs to create an ecosystem designed to enable new businesses to be built, new jobs to be created, and new solutions to be unlocked in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

To learn more, please visit www.makingprosperity.com

Press Contact: 
Reethu Thachil
Head of PR and Communications
EYESOME X, Press Office for:
Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit
Mohammed Bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity
+971 58 847 6870

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