- Social impact accelerator C3 has concluded its third accelerator programme.
Egypt’s Baramoda won the contest for an equity-free cash prize, while the UAE’s The Zola Collective came in second place, and EduPloyment in third, also from the UAE.
The winners have won equity-free cash prizes courtesy of HSBC, pro bono consulting support from Bain & Co, and pro bono legal support from Al Tamimi & Company, as well as a complimentary licence to the DMCC.
The programme has attracted more than 1,000 applications, shortlisted to 24 finalists, 45 per cent of whom were women.
The third edition of the C3 Social Impact Accelerator Programme – powered by HSBC, concluded on Thursday 1 July, with the three winners announced by Stephen Moss, Regional CEO of HSBC Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.
Egypt’s Baramoda came first, with the UAE’s The Zola Collective in second, and EduPloyment in third – also from the UAE.
The three winners have received equity-free cash prizes courtesy of HSBC, pro bono consulting support from Bain & Co, and pro bono legal support from Al Tamimi & Company, in addition to a complimentary license to the DMCC – the world’s leading free zone1. C3’s corporate partners have also supported the entrepreneurs tremendously throughout the Board Meeting Simulations and participated in the selection of the finalists as part of the judging panel.
The winners will also benefit from Amazon Web Services (AWS) promotional credits as part of the AWS Activate program, and receive support from FH Insights – a corporate training company that will help them align their company values with their mission.
This year, the programme attracted more than 1,000 applications, with 42 entrepreneurs from eight countries across the Middle East and Turkey (MENAT) region – covering 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – shortlisted to join the semi-finalist training sessions.
The shortlist was then cut to 24 finalists, of whom 45 per cent are women founders, to continue their journey and participate in board meeting simulations and the final pitch competition.
The new interactive format of the online programme, developed by C3 in partnership with data analytics experts and learning technology providers, allowed the entrepreneurs to maximise their learning outcomes and effectively implement all the learnings acquired over the course of the three-month programme.
Sabrin Rahman, HSBC’s Managing Director and Head of Sustainability EMEA, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of how the programme has evolved year on year. Scaling up these social businesses also means scaling their impact, which means we are able to begin tackling some of the most critical issues in our communities. Collaboration and partnerships across all sectors are key if we want to create long-term solutions for the region, by the region, which is why we value our partnership with C3.”
The programme underlined the remarkable cooperation between different ecosystem players in their mission to support C3 entrepreneurs.
“This year, the support from our network has been incredible: more than 160 experts from blue-chip companies and more than 30 international and regional VCs have participated in the board meeting simulations, and 20+ distinguished judges have helped us with the very difficult task of selecting the winners. Moreover, we have observed a phenomenal spirit of collaboration among the finalists. It is heartwarming to witness emerging partnerships between business leaders that are intentional about creating positive change in our communities!” highlighted Medea Nocentini, C3 co-founder.
Sanjeev Dutta, Executive Director – Commodities and Financial Services, DMCC, said: “Time and time again, I am amazed at the creativity, innovation, talent and true commitment to social impact that we keep witnessing across the region. The C3 Social Impact Accelerator Program powered by HSBC is such an important initiative as it uncovers this untapped potential. This not only benefits the entrepreneurs themselves but more importantly supports the advancement of the UN SDGs. We very much look forward to welcoming Verofax, providing them with the opportunity to set up and grow in our vibrant business district and guiding them every step of the way.”
All the C3 entrepreneurs will continue to receive support from C3 and different partners and experts as part of the efforts towards building a collaborative ecosystem.