Ma’an Social Incubator program funds 10 start-up teams

Funding Incubators News

The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an has today announced the 10 winning teams that have been awarded a place in the second cycle of the Ma’an Social Incubator program that is designed to provide sustainable services and products, which will benefit and support the mental wellbeing of Abu Dhabi residents.

The second cycle has received a huge response with more than 260 applications from around the world. Among the winning projects is a mobile app that offers high quality mindfulness therapy content for Arabic speakers at affordable rates. Other selected start-ups include a technology platform that provides training and valuable toolkits for caregivers and comic books based on youth discussions that raises awareness for mental health issues for children.

Each of the 10 teams will be eligible to receive up to AED 200,000 from Ma’an and will now undergo a 90-day training program in Abu Dhabi from March 2020 to develop their original ideas into strong business ventures.

As one of Ma’an’s key pillars, the Social Incubator program aims to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by helping deliver solutions to social challenges such as mental wellbeing and improve the everyday lives of Abu Dhabi residents.

As part of the team’s development, startups will undergo a thorough journey of weekly workshops to gain mastery over the fundamentals of social entrepreneurship exposing them to a range of tools and models to build their prototypes, business models, find and engage with their customers, and grow their business sustainably.

The social entrepreneurial teams will also be given the necessary support to ensure their projects are sustainable and has a positive impact by having access to mentorship, and business expertise.

The teams will also be able to network and build relationships with individuals outside of the programme including potential investors, third sector leaders and regional and global industry figures.

The 10 social start-up teams were selected from a shortlist of 35 teams and pitched their original ideas to an expert panel. Since registration opened in November, Ma’an received applications from the UAE and overseas including Russia, India, Estonia, Greece, Sudan, Jordan, Nigeria. UK,Canada, Oman, USA, Belarus, Germany, Morroco, KSA, Italy, Singapore, Portugal.

In this regard, H.E Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development stated “This incubator supports and encourages everyone to come forward with their creative ideas in the social sector, specially in the mental wellbeing that has become a global challenge. The incubator seeks to face this challenge through providing sustainable solutions in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Her Excellency Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an said “Mental wellbeing continues to be a vital topic around the world and one that can happen to anyone of us as we go through different stages in life. Based in Abu Dhabi that embraces to be one of the best cities to work and live in, we have a duty to help those in need. This is why we are thrilled to have selected 10 of the most innovative solutions that we believe will make a big difference in supporting the mental wellbeing of people in Abu Dhabi.”

The 10 selected teams are:

  • Shala Online: An on-demand streaming platform that tackles physical and mental wellbeingmatters by delivering online high quality yoga and meditation classes in both Arabic and English.
  • Mental Health AE: Shared platform that provides access to services, information and resources to raising awareness around mental health issues and aiming to end the stigma targeting university students as well as hosting weekly support group sessions.
  • Nafas: An innovative mobile app that offers a range of mindfulness modules for Arabic speakers seeking to enhance their mental wellbeing and attaining a peaceful state of being by managing stress and anxiety which can be accessed and completed at the user’s discretion at affordable costs
  • HIMMA: A service aimed at young girls between 13 to 17-year-olds to improve their self-esteem, build resilience and develop stamina to face future challenges in life through educational workshops and development of key relationships.
  • Hold My Umbrella: Technology platform that tackles arising issues for caregivers of mental health patients by providing them access to training and toolkits to demystify common mental disorders and give them daily guidance by connecting them to an array of social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists..
  • The Family Friend: A simplified package of services and guidelines developed by social workers to help empower immediate family members of a person affected by mental health disorder  to followup with treatment plans upon being discharged and in between visits to prevent patient relapse.
  • The Hamda and Hamad Comics: Aseries of children’s comic books told from the perspectives of children and youth aged 7-16 gathered through multiple workshops to surface their needs and concerns aiming at raising awareness of mental health.
  • Peer-Minded: A peer support network that is a youth-led initiative and uses a peer-to-peer support framework to equip and empower young students to talk with other struggling students about their mental health aimed at creating a preventative culture as well as destigmatizing such issues and normalizing them.
  • Guiding Stars: A gamified online solution aimed for new parents to improve their mental wellbeing to tackle issues arising from postpartdum depression and the overall overwhelming and exhaustion resulting from being a new parent as well as creating supportive networks.
  • Bessernlife: An online platform withmonthly subscription model offered for coroporate staff that combines learning with personalized support from a wellbeing coach to tackle the rising and widespread problem of burnout at affordable prices.

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