Al Ahli Holding Group Strengthens commitmentto supporting creation of sustainable CSR projects and social enterprises
The 2017 edition of the CSR in Action program, which is spearheaded by the Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG),has selected 5 projects for further development in the pilot stage. Run over a period of 4 months, the program has helped to significantly enhance the practice and awareness of CSR activities among practitioners and students. CSR in Action has created a visible impact to enhance effective CSR practices across the Middle East since the program started in 2011. CSR in Action UAE 2017 was conducted in partnership with Dubai SME and included a mix of students and alumni from Zayed University, Canadian University Dubai, representatives from the Dubai Health Authority, and private sector participants from Ali and Sons and Zara in addition to representatives of 2 social enterprises, Friends of Cancer Patients, and Bizworld. Over the course of the CSR in Action program, the students formed teams based on their interests in environmental issues, art and technology, employment, and support for people with special needs or cancer. As time progressed they spent time developing each interest into a potential project. According to Mohammed Khammas, CEO of Al Ahli Holding Group,”Since its inception in 2011, CSR in Action has been a highly successful initiative from Al Ahli Holding Group’s CSR division. Playing a critical role in AAGH’s goal of creating a thriving ecosystem of social enterprises that create a positive impact on local communities, the initiative opens a door for businesses to join the efforts while actively creating a broader understanding of CSR among both practitioners and students in the region. I sincerely thank Dubai SME for supporting this initiative and express my gratitude to everybody involved who contributed to the implementation of this program.” Saeed Al Marri, Deputy CEO of Dubai SME stated, “It is a long-standing partnership between Dubai SME and Al Ahli Holding Group and we share the same values of sustainable enhancement and growth. We extend our sincere gratitude to the group on its continuous support across the CSR ecosystem. Committed to encouraging entrepreneurship that contribute to the economic development in the Emirates, the recent workshop held in partnership with AAHG demonstrated social entrepreneurship in which participants were given the opportunity to explore and expand their knowledge about setting up business models, adding value to the community”. The Al Ahli Holding Group CSR team, headed by Lina Hourani, Division Director, conducted a range of events and initiatives including conferences and regional best practice workshops to support the program. Dubai SME also brought in support services with insights into fundraising and crowd-funding while promoting business incubation. In the final stages, participants received constructive feedback from judgesdrawn from the UAE Ministry of Youth,Crescent Industries, the University of Jordan, and Al Ahli.The project teams are now developing and further enhancing their ideas in the Pilot Phase.After the pilot phase, an esteemed panel of judges will assess the project progress and success and recognize the 3best projects at an award ceremony. In the CSR in Action program, participants are given the opportunity to learn everything from identifying social challenges, financial strategy, marketing, media, fundraising, etc. Each team works on a project/social enterprise to solve the social challenge they are targeting in their communities. The projects will then be presented before an eminent judging panel to compete for the final awards. In an effort to break down barriers, CSR in Action is in line with UAE’s vision of establishing itself as one of the prominent countries in the sector of economy and welfare. It opens a pathway for businesses to join forces while focusing on efforts to enhance CSR activities into the emerging Arab and international markets. CSR In Action 2017 Project Summary Life.co – This companywill provide high quality recycling services to recreateproducts from available and used resources while utilizing talents from various communities inthe UAE. Kafu – This is a professional platform that is designed specially for fresh graduates. The main goalof the project is to create the first career website in the ME that connects fresh graduates andcorporates to provide professional training, real employment opportunities, networking andsupport for fresh graduates in the region. Eha’a–This is an inspirational online platform that connects young, talented artists with art seekers. It is a space where artists get to exhibit their original art pieces and gain global visibility, while having them sold to art seekers & serious collectors. The Green Machine: The idea behind this project is to introduce reverse recycling system machines in Dubai and make it abundantand accessible to all segments of the society in order to make an environmental conscioussociety. Pink Caravan Expansion: Pink Caravan is a Pan UAE breast cancer initiative that falls under Friends of Cancer Patients’umbrella “Kashf” for early detection of cancer.The project is aimed at supporting Pink Caravan to attract sufficient funding to run its mobile mammography unit throughout the year.