ABU DHABI, 3rd August, 2022 (WAM) — The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an today announced the launch of the 7th cohort of the Ma’an Social Incubator (MSI). The MSI’s 7th cohort seeks applications from bright new minds tackling the theme of “Entrepreneurship for Social Good,” emphasising Green Cities, Circular Economy, and Sustainable Transport.
The launch of the 7th cohort is in partnership with the Making Prosperity initiative, an impact initiative that runs the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Maker Challenge – an open-innovation platform where some of the world’s most innovative start-ups compete to solve real-world challenges affecting people’s lives.
Ma’an is collaborating with key partners such as the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Maker Challenge and StartAD to attract start-ups and entrepreneurs from around the world to address key challenges in advancing sustainable urbanisation and equitable economic development, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Salama Al Ameemi, Director-General of Ma’an, said, “With growing populations, urbanisation and climate change posing critical sustainability challenges, now is the time to enable new innovators to help secure our future. Abu Dhabi has demonstrated its vital role in creating a prosperous and sustainable future, ranked among the smartest cities in the Middle East and North Africa region in the ‘Smart City Index 2021’, She pointed out that it is crucial to empower the ‘third’ sector to also generate impactful solutions for a sustainable future, adding, “As a nexus for public, private and ‘third’ sector-level enterprise and investment, Ma’an is empowering bright entrepreneurial minds to catalyse real change that will have a profound and lasting social impact. The MSI’s 7th cohort will lead the way through socially impactful entrepreneurship and sustainable solutions that will bring together the public, private and ‘third’ sectors to create profoundly beneficial and lasting organic change.”
The 7th cohort is launched as part of the “Decade of Action Challenge,” a 10-year initiative by Making Prosperity and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) that seeks to promote sustainable and inclusive urban development through innovative solutions, partnerships, and transformative ideas. The 7th cohort will present the Challenge Question to the global start-up community to source technological and innovative solutions via submissions on the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Maker Challenge open innovation platform.
Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Making Prosperity initiative, said, “As an open-innovation platform, the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Maker Challenge aims to encourage an international community of innovators to develop solutions that can be deployed towards supporting societies that are facing pressing social, cultural, and environmental challenges. We are excited about our partnership with Ma’an and UN-Habitat and look forward to seeing some cutting-edge solutions being deployed in Abu Dhabi and around the world.”
The MSI’s new cohort will also benefit from Ma’an’s partnership with startAD, the start-up accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Ramesh Jagannathan, Managing Director of startAD, said, “With technological advancements and digitisation, the quest for sustainability, and changes in consumer behaviour, it is clear that there is an undeniable need for the industry to evolve with social impact at its core. With its push for social impact, tech innovation, safe-haven status, business-friendly economy, and sound regulatory environment, Abu Dhabi is becoming the ideal place to grow a global social impact business, and we invite start-ups to utilise the opportunity. startAD is proud to partner with Ma’an, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Maker Challenge, and the UN-Habitat to drive the digitisation of the global real-estate industry from Abu Dhabi, building a shared economy and smart, sustainable communities.”
Based on the viability of their business models, the teams selected for the 7th cohort will be offered specially tailored support to ensure that their innovations bring substantive positive change to the lives of the Abu Dhabi community and targeted groups. Following the application deadline on 16th September 2022, the successful teams will benefit from a wide range of learning, mentoring, funding, and networking opportunities, including an exclusive opportunity to exhibit their business proposals at a “Demo Day,” in January 2023 during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.