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. 

Seafood lovers flock to LuLu fiesta

LuLu Hypermarket’s annual seafood festival, held in association with the National Fisheries Development Program, was attended by senior officials from the fisheries department and LuLu.
Updated 20 November 2019

Seafood lovers flock to LuLu fiesta

LuLu Hypermarket hosted its annual “Seafood Fiesta,” a showcase of more than 100 varieties of fish and shellfish across its stores in the Kingdom.
The seven-day festival, which ran until Nov. 17, was held in association with the National Fisheries Development Program, a subsidiary of the Department of Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA).
LuLu honored seven Saudi fishermen who completed 50 years in the field of fishing. The seafood festival was inaugurated by Abdul Aziz A. Alshehab, general director of Fisheries Research Center, Eastern Province, at LuLu Hypermarket in Dammam. At its Jeddah branch in Amir Fawaz district, the event was inaugurated by Rada Al-Zahrani, director of the fisheries department in Jeddah, while at the Riyadh branch in Murabba district, Dr. Ali Muhammed Al-Shaikhi, CEO of National Fisheries Development Program, opened the event.
Shehim Muhammed, director of LuLu Hypermarket Saudi Arabia, said: “We have always taken pride in offering fresh and high-quality seafood from around the world. Seafood Fiesta is one such event that proves the commitment of LuLu to bring the widest range of fish and shellfish that is well-loved by both the local and expat communities. We also support local produce, as we are recognized as the top seller of Samaq-certified products, which highlight fresh and cooked seafood that is promoted by the national aquaculture product certification and labeling program of the Saudi Aquaculture Society, under the guidance of MEWA.”


LuLu honored seven Saudi fishermen who completed 50 years in the field of fishing, during the seven-day festival, which ran until Nov. 17.

From Norwegian salmon to sea bass, lobster, kingfish and much more, LuLu offered fish and shellfish products in both fresh and frozen options. Apart from the seafood offerings in the wet section, the hypermarket offered a variety of fish dishes at its hot food stations. Japanese maki, prawn pizza, grilled tuna, salmon quiche, fish masala and tuna puff were some of the main attractions at these counters.
LuLu Hypermarket, one of the largest retailers in the region, recently celebrated the group’s 10th anniversary in the Kingdom.
With 180 stores operating worldwide, LuLu aims to provide and sustain the supply of global products at the best rates. It is one of the favorite shopping destinations of both locals and expatriates in the Kingdom.
LuLu is the fastest growing retail chain across 10 countries that include the GCC, India, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It is one of the Middle East’s top employers with a workforce numbering at more than 55,000.