· The 10 selected startups pitched their Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access-focused businesses to an audience of judges, experts, and investors
· The Closing Ceremony was held on Monday February 28, 2022, with the presence of H.E Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs and senior executives from program partners: Accenture, Standard Chartered, ENGIE and Discovery
After taking part in an intensive learning journey on the C3 I.D.E.A (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) Accelerator - powered by Accenture - ImInclusive was announced as the winner of the program by Alexis Lecanuet, Senior Managing Director at Accenture Middle East. ImInclusive is a UAE-based startup that provides end-to-end recruitment and placement support to People of Determination, acting as refuel stop prior to joining the next great career opportunity.
The winner received a USD 25,000 equity-free cash prize courtesy of Standard Chartered, which was handed by Rola Abu Manneh, CEO at Standard Charted Bank UAE, and Shada Elborno, Managing Director, Regional Head, Global Subsidiaries, Client Coverage MENAP at Standard Chartered Bank. The winner will also be receiving pro-bono consulting support from Accenture.
The entrepreneurs were welcomed by His Excellency Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, during the Demo Day and Closing Ceremony where he said:
“Competitions like the C3 I.D.E.A Accelerator – powered by Accenture - create greater incentives to drive the shift towards an entrepreneurship and innovation-led economy. Nevertheless, for the entrepreneurship sector to truly fulfil its potential and play its part in national development plans, we need more than case-by-case support for individual entrepreneurs and ventures. A holistic and integrated entrepreneurship ecosystem is essential in order to provide innovators with everything they need to thrive and turn their bold ideas into concrete, game-changing projects.”
“The UAE has led the way with ambitious projects to support entrepreneurship and accelerate the transition towards an innovation-led economy. The Emirates is now a startup powerhouse with 350,000 SMEs as of mid-2020 and 17 different accelerator programmes to choose from.”
“The UAE is actively creating advanced platforms to attract international companies and encourage them to launch their ventures from right here in the Emirates,” H.E. Al Falasi asserted. “We want all brilliant minds to think of the UAE as their partner in success and we are offering all residents in the UAE – as well as innovators from around the world – an opportunity to excel.”
C3 – Companies Creating Change and Accenture onboarded 10 startups from across the MENA region to the inaugural edition of the C3 I.D.E.A (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) Accelerator - powered by Accenture - earlier in January 2022.
The accelerator program attracted the interest of 175 startups, directly focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access, as well as the support of four strategic corporate partners: Accenture, Standard Chartered, ENGIE and Discovery.
Alexis Lecanuet, Senior Managing Director at Accenture ME, congratulated all the entrepreneurs on making it this far and highlighted the importance of supporting impact-driven entrepreneurs on the C3 I.D.E.A Accelerator – powered by Accenture. “If we want to move the needle for the overall ecosystem, we need to support startups and initiatives that will improve the economy. This shift can only be accomplished with the right organizational DNA, which is a combination of social impact and business sustainability”, he said.
C3 Founder, Medea Nocentini commended the founders on their journey on the program and said: “It has been extremely inspiring to work closely with the founders of the 10 startups and to help them on their growth journey from an Impact, Business Growth and I.D.E.A perspective. We, at C3, along with our partners at Accenture, Standard Chartered, ENGIE and Discovery, are very proud of the progress of all the participants and look forward to witnessing the impact that they will create”.
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.
Hafsa Qadeer, Founder and CEO of ImInclusive, and winner of the of the C3 I.D.E.A Accelerator, said "Accessibility is not an afterthought and with more than 70% of ImInclusive’s team being People of Determination, we owe the success of the Inclusive hiring app to all People of Determination, as the community has always supported the journey of ImInclusive. We share our heartfelt gratitude with the C3 and Accenture teams and all the partners and mentors who have amplified our impact and joined our journey. This is just the beginning."
To learn more about the program, please visit: https://www.wegrowwithc3.com/c3-i-d-e-a-accelerator.