We partnered with the Sharjah Ladies Club to deliver a series of entrepreneurship workshops targeting 8–13-year-old girls to encourage social entrepreneurship from an early age. 28 girls participated in a series of workshops aimed at introducing entrepreneurial skills. The girls were provided with the tools to conjure business ideas, build them into a business model, and pitched their model to a panel of investors.
Empowering female entrepreneurs
As part of our commitment to support the development of female entrepreneurs and to foster young talent in the region, we have partnered with the Sharjah Ladies Club to support its Collage Talent Centre and the Ebriez Exhibition. We jointly reached 11,000 community members and to equip women and children with the entrepreneurial skills to set up businesses. We provided them with a working space to pursue their ideas, hone their talents, and contribute to the economy.
Over 4,000 children and 400 mothers across the Middle East were given the opportunity to participate in Healing and Education through the Arts (HEART), a collaborative venture between Save the Children and Crescent Enterprises’ subsidiary, Global Gumbo Group (G3), made possible by funds raised from sales of G3’s hit charity single, ‘Tomorrow-Bokra’. The unique initiative gives children affected by chronic stress and poverty a platform to heal through artistic processes, allowing them to express motions, develop resiliency, and learn through creative activities that incorporate math, language, history, and science. As an extension of the partnership, at the Dubai International Film Festival, G3 premiered, ‘Bokra The Film’ a documentary that takes viewers on a journey across the Middle East with behind the scenes footage of the song’s creative process and the inspiring stories showcased through the development and success of HEART.
Passionate about entrepreneurship and the need to tackle the ongoing issue of unemployment throughout the Arab world, Crescent Enterprises pledged its support to the Arabreneur initiative by hosting the programme’s 2014 UAE event, ‘Arab Digital Summit’. Showcasing the ambition and talent of seven entrepreneurs and their selected start-ups, the summit brought together more than 60 venture capitalists, investors and business leaders to hear entrepreneurs’ pitches, for the potential to invest in their concept and long-term goals.
To uphold the importance of female leadership in business, in 2014 and 2015, Crescent Enterprises joined forces with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, to empower, mentor and support female entrepreneurs across the Middle East. Drawing from the 6,000 strong workforce of Crescent Enterprises and its subsidiary companies, a group mentors were selected to provide their professional expertise and guidance to the Foundation’s “Mentoring Women in Business” programme in the Middle East for a course of one year via an online mentoring platform.
Crescent Enterprises has partnered with the largest network of social entrepreneurs, Ashoka, to increase the presence and impact of social entrepreneurs in the Gulf Region through the launch of the new initiative Arab World Social Entrepreneurship Program (ASEP). With the support of Crescent Enterprises, ASEP was launched to preselect the most promising social innovators in the region, who are working specifically to address the current challenges of obesity, water scarcity and women participation for inclusive growth.
In support of the development of the Emirate of Sharjah as well as its generation of leaders, Crescent Enterprises signed a partnership agreement with the Sharjah Tatweer Forum on its Sharjah Leadership Programme (SLP). In cooperation with the American University of Sharjah (AUS), SLP aims to support and empower its future leaders with international best business practice knowledge and corporate management skills, creating sustainable solutions and innovations for the betterment of the Emirate. Over the course of six months, 20 UAE nationals and four expats attended sessions at the American University of Sharjah, performed team projects and engaged in field visits to various sectors throughout the Emirate, including several of Crescent Enterprises operations.
MENA + Social Good
Crescent Enterprises joined a global community from over 53 countries, in the inaugural, one-of-a-kind virtual summit dedicated to exploring how technology, social media, and the internet enable constructive engagement to catalyse positive impact in the MENA Region. The MENA+SocialGood summit was established in 2013 to create a space for neutral conversation, aiming to spark collaboration, foster innovation and promote partnerships surrounding the current obstacles Arab youth face, including unemployment, and the encouragement of philanthropy. With 17 global in-person independently organised livestream events occurring simultaneously around the world, the summit succeeded in reaching over 27.53 million people through Twitter and trended third globally with over 6,000 comments.
Crescent Enterprises partnership with Dubai Cares was inspired by the need to immediately address the acute lack of educational infrastructure for underprivileged and neglected children. In 2013, we proudly committed our efforts and support to Dubai Care’s “Adopt a School” initiative to fund the construction of a school in Nepal. After one year of planning and several weeks of building, the school opened its doors to more than 160 children, ages 5 to 12, to receive primary education and serve as an additional space for adult literacy classes.
In an effort to combat the dire effects from the rapid industrialisation of Abu Dhabi on the vibrant mangroves that line its shores, Crescent Enterprises joined New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) students under the local initiative “Green Abu Dhabi” to collect debris and refuse from the coasts of the region. Each mangrove clean-up is undertaken with the cooperation of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City and the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wildlife Fund, and is under the patronage of Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Culture, Youth and Community.
Crescent Enterprises was a proud supporter of the United Nations World Humanitarian Day campaign, “The World Needs More,” a unique initiative that utilised social media to turn words into money in support of humanitarian efforts and initiatives around the world. Crescent Enterprises sponsored the word “entrepreneur”, to highlight the power of enterprise in uplifting society out of poverty and in transforming lives. The campaign raised over US$ 2.5 million from the private and public sector as well as through in-kind support.