The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, has announced that as a result of the Ma’an Social Incubator (MSI), 30 social start-ups have been successfully launched. It is hoped that the companies will help to provide solutions to Abu Dhabi’s social challenges and positively impact more than 15,000 beneficiaries within the emirate.
Through its championing of social entrepreneurship, Ma’an has supported 30 social start-ups through three cohorts of MSI, providing more than AED 6 million worth of support to produce effective enterprises, which address the specific social needs of Abu Dhabi, which have been identified through the Quality of Life survey and Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development, whilst also contributing to the wider economy. MSI works closely with relevant partners to understand the needs of both, businesses and Government.
Since its launch in May 2019, more than 800 applications have been received from across 21 different countries, spanning five continents, from entrepreneurs with innovative concepts, each aiming to address the cohort’s specific theme.
H.E Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: “We are extremely proud of the milestones achieved through our Ma’an Social Incubator. Since the announcement of its inaugural cohort, we have been overwhelmed by the response from so many creative and forward-thinking social start-ups from all over the world.
“Seeing how the social entrepreneurs have utilised their deep understanding of the social priorities to create innovative solutions and use the MSI platform to grow their ideas into social enterprises has been magnificent to see.
“Through empowering social entrepreneurs to grow their business ideas, we will be able to enhance the third sector, growing a healthy and strong network of social enterprises and not-for-profit associations, benefitting Abu Dhabi.”
Three cohorts have been launched so far, each aimed at empowering social entrepreneurs to grow their ideas into social enterprises through offering milestone funding, mentorship, office space, business expertise and access to investors.
The theme of Cohort 01 was focused on developing solutions to enhance the quality of life for People of Determination. The shortlisted ventures included a platform to provide effective accessibility for People of Determination, empowering them to use assistive technology via an app which offers instant translation of sign language for everyone’s use and an inclusive, safe, seasonal, mobile and sleepover camp for Children of Determination.
Cohort 02 focused on enhancing the mental wellbeing of residents in Abu Dhabi, with the shortlisted start-ups creating solutions such as mindfulness apps, supportive guidance for young girls through interactive workshops, an online platform and podcast supporting post-natal mothers on their mental health journey, and online yoga and meditation classes in Arabic.
Cohort 03 focused on encouraging and improving Family Cohesion, with innovative solutions including online storytelling sessions, an app to coach families on how to resolve disputes, a Fit Family programme, and an interactive and engaging programme designed to address the issue of lack of communication within families.
Jose Rubinger, owner of Key2Enable, the software empowering People of Determination to use technology, and Cohort 01 participant said: “Becoming part of the Ma’an Social Incubator program has been one of the biggest milestones of Key2Enable’s journey. This unique experience with all the mentors, events, the acceleration process, and their strong network connections and expertise in dealing with the government and private sector-led us to open our Middle East business unit in Abu Dhabi. If you are looking for innovation and technology to succeed, inspire, and create a positive social impact, you have to consider applying to Ma’an programmes.”
Cycle 04 of the MSIA will launch towards the end of the year, incubating 10 more winning start-ups.