Saudi startups join regional accelerator to boost social impact

Munif Al-Otaibi, head of business banking and SME, SABB.
Updated 22 October 2019

Saudi startups join regional accelerator to boost social impact

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 Oct. 22. 

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 eight countries in MENAT. A total of 40 semifinalists 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 Oct. 31.

Following a rigorous selection process, 20 applicants will be invited to participate in a week-long program in March, 2020 in Dubai 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. 


Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Updated 09 July 2020

Pearson unveils Mideast winners of BTEC Awards

Outstanding students, tutors and colleges from 25 countries, including from the Middle East, saw their achievements recognized at the BTEC Awards 2020 ceremony, held online for the first time due to coronavirus.

Hosted by presenter of the United Stand, YouTube influencer and BTEC ambassador, Flex, 17 category award winners were celebrated from the UAE and around the Middle East as well as internationally in subjects such as health and social care, performing arts, engineering, IT, business and sport.

Double Olympic gold medalist Max Whitlock and architect, TV presenter and campaigner George Clarke were among those presenting awards. 

They were joined by journalist and TV presenter Steph McGovern who spoke about her passion for vocational education and the BTEC Awards.

Spanning across 21 categories, the awards showcase the exceptional BTEC learners and teachers that have been nominated to win a gold, silver or bronze BTEC award. Accepted in more than 200 universities worldwide, BTEC is a highly regarded, career-focused qualification, studied in over 60 countries.

The Middle East winners are:

• BTEC Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Student of the Year Silver Winner — Finn Page, DESC, UAE

• BTEC Teacher of the Year (schools only) Bronze Winner — James McBlane, British School Al-Khubairat, UAE

• BTEC IT and Computing Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Sangeetha Philip, Cambridge International School, Dubai, UAE

• BTEC Business and Enterprise Student of the Year Bronze Winner — Delma Sharyl D’Silva, The Winchester School — Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE

Cindy Rampersaud, senior vice president, BTEC and apprenticeships at Pearson Education, said: “This year I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of BTEC Award nominations we received, and I am delighted to celebrate this year’s winners and the achievements of all learners who will be awarded a BTEC this year. 

Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve seen how the current pandemic has highlighted the critical role of key workers and individuals who are likely to have followed a vocational educational pathway such as BTEC.”

In the UAE, BTEC qualifications are available in sectors including applied science, art and design, business, childcare, construction, engineering, media, health and social care, hospitality, ICT, performing arts, public services, sport, travel and tourism.

Pearson has been delivering BTEC qualifications worldwide since 1984. A recent study revealed that 90 percent of BTEC students are employed full-time after graduating.

Globally, nearly 1 million students studied toward a BTEC in the past year, via 784 approved BTEC centers in 60 countries.

In response to new careers emerging within industries and ongoing change, Pearson is continually adapting and innovating its BTEC curriculum and learning to ensure it is relevant for young people and adults, supporting progression and career aspirations throughout lives.