Mona Al Hashemi: Its positive impact was reflected on 200,000 individuals from the emirate
Together supports 71 social and 10 non-profit organizations in Abu Dhabi
The incubator provided, from its inception until the end of the year 2021, financial support estimated at 11 million dirhams.
From the source
Mona Al Hashemi: "Empowering social, civil and non-profit institutions would enhance the emirate's ability to deal with social priorities."
Acting Director of the Incubator and Social Accelerator Department, Mona Al Hashemi, revealed the success of the “Ma’an” social authority in incubating 71 social enterprises, and accelerating the establishment of 10 non-profit institutions, during the period from May 2019 to December 2021, achieving financial support estimated at 11 million dirhams from community contributions. And the public and private sectors, noting that the positive impact of the projects presented by the incubator in its past six sessions was reflected in 200,000 individuals from the community of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Al-Hashemi assured Emirates Today that empowering social, civil and non-profit institutions would enhance the emirate's ability to deal with social priorities.
She said that the social incubator and accelerator program enables community members to become social entrepreneurs, by supporting them to transform their innovative ideas into economic-return projects that provide social products and services, with financial support and funding from the Ma'an Authority.
The incubator program is held twice a year, and each time focuses on a specific topic, as it gives social entrepreneurs an opportunity to participate in it by applying for financial financing to start or expand their projects before presenting their work plan to the Authority within a competitive environment.
She explained that the social enterprise classification certificate is the first of its kind in the UAE, and is considered an accreditation and recognition of the brand, and is granted to organizations with a social purpose from the institutions in Abu Dhabi.
Companies that obtain the certificate can use the Abu Dhabi Social Brand logo as an indication of their classification as a social enterprise in the emirate.
Al Hashemi added, "Together was able to promote innovation and entrepreneurship locally, to develop effective solutions to address social priorities by incubating 71 social enterprises and accelerating the establishment of 10 non-profit institutions operating within seven sectors related to social priorities in Abu Dhabi."
And she continued: «The (Together) social incubator provides its financial support to the participating companies in stages, so that the social start-up company deserves support according to the implementation of a specific stage, and pre-agreed criteria.
In the event of the inability to implement or achieve the conditions of each stage, technical and advisory support is provided so that these companies can continue to be eligible for support.
In the event that you do not meet these conditions, the financial support stops, while the startup company can continue to join the training and mentoring programs within the agenda of the incubator program.
And she emphasized measuring the social impact of projects that were funded through the specialized services and products it provides, as the authority works to pay attention to emerging projects that seek to develop solutions for their society and transform them into social institutions with a sustainable impact, pointing out that the positive impact of projects presented by the incubator in its past six sessions It was reflected on more than 200,000 members of the community of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Al Hashemi stressed Ma'an's commitment to the community priorities approved at the emirate level, which are periodically determined by the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, noting that it has covered more than 10 topics that serve the community priorities of the emirate since the launch of the first session of the incubator.
The list of topics discussed in its previous sessions included: people of determination, mental health, family cohesion, environment and sustainability, quality of life for senior citizens and residents, financial culture and educational technologies, in addition to sustainable mobility, green cities and the circular economy.
Al-Hashemi said that "Ma'an" selects projects, social entrepreneurs and their teams through a process of submitting competitive offers twice a year, and registers the selected teams in an intensive training program for a period of three months, as it grants them initial financing, and provides them with opportunities for learning, communication, training and investment, and in In each session of the social incubator, the authority presents a main priority targeting it to attract innovative projects that provide sustainable solutions to social challenges in a specific field.
She added, “The incubator is a competitive platform that provides entrepreneurs and social start-ups with an opportunity to compete, not only in the field of providing creative and impactful ideas, but also in providing a distinctive scope and implementation mechanism capable of providing community members with innovative social services and products.”
And she added, "The goal of the (Together) Authority is to empower the third sector in Abu Dhabi and enhance its ability to have an active role in continuing to improve the quality of life in the emirate."
Al-Hashemi pointed out that the incubator provided, from its inception until the end of 2021, financial support estimated at 11 million dirhams (as part of contributions made by the community and the public and private sectors), as it strengthened through this support the continuity and expansion of innovative social businesses.
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