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  • Saudi startups join regional accelerator to boost social impact

    October 2019


    20 Oct 2019, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; SABB has joined partner bank HSBC to open the regional ‘C3 Social Impact Accelerator’ to Saudi startups for the first time. The program is the region’s flagship accelerator program offering training and investment opportunities for startups making a positive social impact.

    The C3 Social Impact Accelerator program helps social entrepreneurs achieve financial sustainability and solve major social challenges at scale. Launched as a pilot last year between HSBC and Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3), the bank reached out to its local partner SABB to help extend the program to Saudi entrepreneurs. As well as encouraging its own startup customers to take part, SABB helped set up a session for entrepreneurs to prepare their entries for the program at Monshaat, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, on 22nd October.

    Munif Al-Otaibi, Head of Business Banking and SME, SABB, said: “We’re delighted to help extend the C3 Social Impact Accelerator to Saudi entrepreneurs. As one of the biggest supporters of Saudi enterprise, we want to do all we can to help new businesses get off to a good start and contribute to a more diverse and sustainable economy. Our sincere thanks to Monshaat for their support in helping Saudi entrepreneurs take this opportunity to make a bigger social impact.”

    This year, C3 and HSBC are expanding the program to 8 countries in MENAT. A total of 40 semi-finalists from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Algeria and Turkey will be selected from hundreds of applicants to receive one-on-one expert support. To be eligible, applicants must be revenue-generating and must contribute to at least one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Applications are open until 31 October 2019.

    Following a rigorous selection process, 20 applicants will be invited to participate in a week-long program in March, 2020 in Dubai, UAE for an opportunity to connect with impact investors, international trainers and key stakeholders from the social enterprise world. Finalists will also undergo board meeting simulations and work on their pitch decks for a chance to win an equity-free cash prize of $10,000.

    Last year’s winner Dr. Rasha Rady, co-founder and COO of Chefaa, an Egyptian based e-health startup said: “Joining C3 was one of our most important milestones yet. It helped us express our impact in a precise and measurable way. We are now able to better communicate with investors and that has boosted our growth significantly.” Chefaa recently closed a six-figure seed funding round.

    Medea Nocentini, Co-founder of C3 elaborates: “Our program is designed to help entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to deliver their social business goals. It is a unique model that relies on the efforts of multiple experts and provides tailored training for those seeking to make a lasting difference and do business differently. We encourage all entrepreneurs to take advantage of this opportunity and showcase the amazing work they are doing to create socially impactful businesses. We are happy to be partnering with HSBC and SABB on what we consider a one-of-a-kind impact accelerator program in the region.”

    SABB is a proud to support several initiatives to help new businesses enter the market successfully. The C3 Social Impact Accelerator for existing startups also compliments SABB and KAUST’s Taqadam accelerator program, which helps young entrepreneurs take their first steps into business.

    Commenting on the partnership Sabrin Rahman, Regional Head of Sustainability MENAT for HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, said: “We are proud of our partnership with C3 and the outcome of the first edition of the Social Impact Accelerator. As more MENAT countries are included in the second edition of the program, we are looking forward to contribute to developing the skills of more entrepreneurs who are committed to what is right for our communities and our planet.”

    Saudi startups wishing to register for the ‘C3 Social Impact Accelerator’ can either visit the event at Monshaat or apply online at www.wegrowwithc3.com.


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