Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo announced its partnership with Entrepreneurship with Impact Ventures, a subsidiary of Ahead of the Curve, an organization established to build an ecosystem to support socially innovative business models in the Arab region. The groups developed The Impact training program through additional partnerships with Middle East Broadcasting Company, Silatech, and Mansour Foundation, which will encourage and support social entrepreneurs to become the social change of tomorrow.
The Impact, which aims to create a regional network of social entrepreneurs who are empowered, inspired and equipped to build sustainable social businesses, will be rolled out in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates through a series of five-day boot camps. The workshops will enable participants to learn, experience real life success stories and facilitate networking opportunities, PepsiCo says.
"This training program is built on a firm belief that alternative business models that have social innovation at their core have the ability to create multi-dimensional layers of value for the region. By 2016, The Impact training program hopes to empower more than 150 individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully kick-start and scale their social enterprises, expose existing and aspiring social entrepreneurs to potential investors, mentors and board members, and provide new social enterprises with much needed seed investments," said Dina Sherif, founding partner of Ahead of the Curve, in a statement.
Director of Corporate Affairs at PepsiCo Middle East and Africa and co-founder of the program Noha Hefny said: "We are strong advocates of social entrepreneurship and the power that it has to drive sustainable development. As a company, we believe in Performance with Purpose, our belief that financial success goes hand in hand with leaving a positive imprint on society. Initiatives such as The Impact not only empower youth and drive economies, but also remind us all of our humanity and that there is a greater purpose than just making profit and driving financial results for our business. We believe that socially innovative business models have a powerful impact on societies and on the economy and are key to building a more sustainable future."
Entrepreneurship with Impact Ventures will focus on three key areas: training and capacity development through The Impact training program, a fund to invest in early stage of social businesses, and research and advocacy. The program also will be based on three main learning stages: Inspire, educate and enable/connect.
The 'inspire' dimension aims to inspire and energize young Arab talent to become social entrepreneurs of the future, build sustainable social business that puts the Middle East back on the map of innovation, knowledge, economies and development, PepsiCo says. Meanwhile, the 'educate' dimension will provide young Arab talent with market and industry knowledge, innovation tools and business models while the 'enable/connect' elements will enable entrepreneurs to explore the feasibility of their social business idea, it says.