DMCC – the world’s flagship Free Zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – has announced that 15 companies have been selected to participate in the ‘DMCC Impact Scale-Up Programme – Powered by C3’ (Companies Creating Change). The programme is the first of its kind in the UAE, supporting the growth of impact-driven businesses that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Inaugurated at a virtual opening ceremony, the programme is operated in partnership with C3, a UAE-based social enterprise helping impact-driven entrepreneurs in the region unlock their growth potential and maximise their positive impact on the community.
The programme forms an integral part of DMCC’s wider ESG strategy, representing the focus of DMCC’s commitment to dedicate 0.5% of its net profits towards social impact. Alongside a range of other initiatives aimed at enhancing environmental sustainability across its community, DMCC currently offers up to a 30% discount on licences to any company that becomes a member of the UN Global Compact to fight climate change.
During her opening speech, Feryal Ahmadi, Chief Operating Officer, DMCC, said: ““As one of the world’s leading business districts with over 21,000 member companies, DMCC is uniquely positioned to champion environmental, social and governance programmes in the region. We have a significant opportunity to enact positive environmental and social change by activating and mobilising our community.”
She added: “It is our fundamental belief that social and environmental impact go hand in hand with economic development and the long-term growth of global trade. As such, our partnership with C3 on the DMCC Impact Scale-Up Programme ties directly into our mandate to attract and promote trade through Dubai.”
The 15 impact-driven companies have joined DMCC’s growing community of over 21,000 businesses with substantial savings on business set up costs through a bespoke 70% discount on licence fees and flexi-desk space for two years, in addition to offering further discounts on licence renewal from the third to the fifth year.
Originating from global markets including Colombia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Egypt, the successful companies cover various sectors such as health tech, agri and food tech, ed tech, as well as employment and job readiness.
Medea Nocentini, Founder of C3, added: “We look forward to working with the inspirational founders of these businesses who are on a mission to solve global challenges, supporting them in scaling their impact across the UAE and the wider region. Our network of experts, trainers, and investors will help the founders unlock new opportunities and sustainably grow their impact-focused businesses. The selected companies are a welcome addition to our network of over 200 accelerated start-ups, who have benefited from our programs, and more than 2500 founders committed to put their business to good use.”
The businesses founders will kick off their training with C3 in September, where they will receive expert support on various pillars including impact, strategy for scaling, business, governance, talent and doing business in the UAE. The selected companies will be prepared to meet investors and potential partners from C3’s network of 4,000 senior experts, clients from blue-chip companies, as well as over 150 investment firms.
The programme will support these businesses contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), enabling them to establish a presence in the UAE and leverage the local ecosystem as a launchpad to successfully expand across the MEA region. The comprehensive training and networking programme will provide a proven blueprint to successfully enter the UAE market, as well as connections with local and regional investors and blue-chip companies.