ABU DHABI - The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an has launched the 8th Social Incubator programme, Youth for Climate Action, to support social impact startups in developing solutions to environmental challenges.
Aligning internationally with goal 13 – Climate Change of UN Sustainable Development Goals, and locally with the vision of the Year of Sustainability, UAE Net Zero, first national drive to achieve net zero emissions in the MENA region, as well as the upcoming COP28 UAE, reemphasises Abu Dhabi’s commitment to sustainable innovation.
As part of a three-year partnership to develop Abu Dhabi as the global centre of social innovation, Ma’an and startAD, powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, have teamed up to offer a unique chance for early-stage entrepreneurs to develop their social impact startups and scale into social enterprises.
Dedicated to encouraging and enabling new enterprises to develop breakthrough solutions to social, cultural, and environmental challenges, the latest cohort will focus on increasing youth participation and their contribution to climate action.
As part of the cohort, MSI will host 10-12 promising startups twice a year and provide them with numerous resources for networking and mentorship, creating a dynamic work environment built on collaboration and innovation in which teams can thrive.
Salama Al Ameemi, Director-General of Ma’an, said, “One of the aims of the 8th cohort of the Ma’an Social Incubator is to reduce per capita environmental impact on cities through municipal and waste management efforts. The UAE’s strategic mission to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 is no small feat and this is where we need to recognise and champion the impact of our youth as powerful advocates and enablers of change. Every person residing in the UAE should have access to zero-waste infrastructure, which will help provide universal access to safe, inclusive, and sustainable communities.”
Al Ameemi also highlighted the importance of community collaboration to achieve success in many of the country’s initiatives, such as UAE Green Agenda 2030.
She said, “Partnerships are at the heart of the work we do at Ma’an and we have teamed up with more than 60 partners across the government, private, and Third Sector entities. It is imperative for key shareholders such as governments and corporations to accelerate their efforts through adoption of sustainable practices in their workplace and to empower startups through the deployment of ‘green finance’ to enable genuine social impact across Abu Dhabi communities.”
Ma’an’s community-centric ethos and dedicated initiatives for fundraising and partnerships have delivered long-lasting impact on the Abu Dhabi community through contributions of more than AED512 million and the empowerment of more than 70 social startups.
Ramesh Jagannathan, Managing Director of startAD, said, “Our long-standing collaboration with the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an realises our joint mission to shape Abu Dhabi into the world's foremost capital for social entrepreneurship. There is immense potential that lies within the youth of this generation; they hold the power to redefine our future through purpose-driven innovation and by leading startups that will become catalysts for a sustainable tomorrow.
“By nurturing a supportive ecosystem, empowering young entrepreneurs, and fostering collaboration across borders, we are providing a platform, where young minds can channel their passion for the environment to build tangible solutions. This would bring meaningful change in the face of the greatest challenge of our time: climate change.”
Applications for the 8th cohort are due by 16 August and chosen teams will benefit from a range of tailored opportunities that will help them shape the future of their startup, including funding up to AED200,000 each based on milestone achievements for one year.
Other assets will include fully customised, hands-on workshops and training geared to help them understand how to scale their business, access to private and government partners to build partnerships and connections with local and global investors, a year of office space under Ma’an offices, and alumni benefits with access to tech discounts, masterclasses, and more.
Operating under the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, Ma’an has supported projects in education, health, environment, and social sectors. Through collaborations with the Third Sector, government, and private entities, Ma’an helps amplify a culture of social participation, while aiming to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as a key destination in which to live and work.