Ma’an, the Authority of Social Contribution, Abu Dhabi, has invited applications from social entrepreneurs and startups with business ideas to support the mental wellbeing of the emirate.
“Applications are now open for the next cycle of the Ma’an Social Incubator and Accelerator Programme, run by the Authority of Social Contribution Ma’an, to grow new start-up community-based organisations and social enterprises in Abu Dhabi,” said an official release.
Applications for the Ma’an Social Incubator will be accepted til February 2020. The program is open to all members of the UAE community as well as international start-ups.
The social incubator will shortlist and support 10 winning social start-ups as part of the programme. These teams will be awarded access to training and workshops to hone their business skills and understand more about this particular social challenge.
Social entrepreneurs with business ideas to support the mental wellbeing of Abu Dhabi residents have been encouraged to apply for incubator and accelerator funding and business development support.
“Following the success of the inaugural cycle, which focused on developing services and products for people of determination, Ma’an is now looking for social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to contribute positively towards the mental wellbeing of citizens and residents in Abu Dhabi,” added the statement.
Established the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, Ma’an aims of bringing together the government, the private sector and civil society to support a culture of social contribution and participation.
Ma’an also launched an accelerator, which will award additional funding and business support to five established social enterprises that are focused on mental wellbeing.
Ma’an will invest more than AED 2 million in each cycle and the successful applicants will join a 90-day incubator or accelerator program and have access to milestone-based funding, mentorship, office space, business expertise and investors. During the programme, all social entrepreneurs will be subjected to a thorough and rigorous training period to transform their original ideas to solid and sustainable business ventures.
Director General of Ma’an, Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi said, “Mental wellbeing has become an increasingly important issue around the world and on average 1 in 4 people will suffer a mental health difficulty at some point during their life. It impacts the way people think, feel, behave and make decisions in everyday life. Abu Dhabi is no different and it is essential that we begin a conversation to understand the support communities need to cope with mental wellbeing challenges.
“Ensuring that our community has access to the right services is vital and we want to encourage new social enterprises to come forward with solutions that will help people address their mental wellbeing challenges.
“We are looking for talented, enthusiastic, creative and driven people with ideas that are unique, impactful and sustainable. Our hope is that by supporting these ventures, we can make a big impact on this social issue in Abu Dhabi.”
The program offers unique and valuable networking opportunities for the teams to build relationships with individuals outside of the program, including investors, third sector leaders as well as regional and global industry figures.
Each team will be eligible to receive milestone funding, released at key milestones, as well as a monthly stipend and housing costs for non-UAE-based participants. Applicants must be 18 and above, living in the UAE, or willing to relocate to Abu Dhabi. Candidates can submit their entries in either English or Arabic and must have minimum proficiency in the English language.
In addition, applications for the newly introduced accelerator element of the cycle open today until the end of January 2020. The accelerator programme will support five established businesses with access non-equity funding, a monthly stipend and a series of networking sessions, entrepreneur events and office space. The accelerator programme is primarily focused on international startups looking to set up in Abu Dhabi as well as local startups. Ma’an will support with an introduction to the UAE, identifying a sponsor and providing advice on the regulatory framework.