The Authority of Social Contribution, Ma’an, has entered a three-year partnership with startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi. The partnership will entail six editions of the social incubator, an Academic Advisory Board involving faculty members and experts to enhance intellectual leadership in social innovation, Research Fellowships studying specific local focus areas, and annual Social Impact Symposiums that will convene thought leaders and enable tangible knowledge sharing.
The sixth cycle of its Ma’an Social Incubator (MSI) programme, themed ‘Entrepreneurship for Social Good’, aiming to empower and equip social entrepreneurs in the financial literacy and education technology (EdTech) sectors, and with a focus on women entrepreneurs, was also announced. The social incubator programme intends to support early-stage social start-ups develop high-impact solutions and scale sustainable businesses that benefit society. It is open to start-ups with a robust social mission to revolutionize education through technology, improve financial awareness, simplify investments, or optimize personal finance habits. Applications will close by May 8. Up to 12 start-ups will be selected for the cohort and be onboarded to the programme to undergo a 90-day training programme to transform their solutions into viable and sustainable social ventures.
According to recent reports, the UAE EdTech market size is estimated at USD 2.8 billion, and the FinTech industry is estimated at USD 2.5 billion, while at the same time more than 38 percent of adults in the UAE are looking to improve their financial literacy.
His Excellency Faisal Al Hamoudi, Executive Director for Social Incubator and Contracting at Ma’an, said: “We believe in the strength of the collective to unlock social innovation and unleash the potential of our homegrown social entrepreneurs. Our goal is to enhance and nurture the third sector of non-profit organisations, foundations and social enterprises to drive social innovation and bring global best practices to address the diverse needs of the community. With our sixth incubator programme our focal areas of financial literacy and EdTech have the potential to reap socio-economic benefits and deliver sustained economic growth. In parallel, we are enriching the entrepreneurial landscape in Abu Dhabi, along with our strategic partner startAD, to reinforce the emirate’s position as a global centre for social innovation.”
As one of Ma’an’s five key pillars, MSI fosters national innovation and entrepreneurship to develop solutions that address social, cultural and environmental challenges. Twice a year, MSI selects promising start-ups and provides them with the resources and support to grow and thrive.