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DMCC Launches Unique Growth Programme for Social Businesses in Dubai through Partnership with Companies Creating Change (C3)

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  • DMCC to bring 20 social and environmental impact-driven businesses into its community through an Impact Scale-Up Programme – a first in the UAE
  • DMCC to provide successful companies with substantial discounts on business setup costs for five years
  • C3 to deliver training and investor and expert networking to enhance business growth and impact measurement
  • Applications open from 16 February and close on 30 April 2022


DMCC – the world’s flagship Free Zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – today announced that it has partnered with C3 (Companies Creating Change), a UAE-based social enterprise empowering impact-driven entrepreneurs across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, to launch the Impact Scale-Up Programme. DMCC is the first Free Zone in the UAE to support companies with a social purpose in such a way.

The programme will support 20 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. Applications are now open and will close on 30 April 2022.

Feryal Ahmadi, Chief Operating Officer, DMCC, said: “Creating a positive social and environmental impact is essential for businesses to provide true value to shareholders in today’s world. This is a philosophy that DMCC lives by, and one that we encourage across our community of over 20,000 member companies. In doing so, we broaden and extend our ESG reach and support the UAE’s sustainability agenda. Partnering with C3 is the latest step in this journey, as we look to enable businesses that are having a substantial positive impact across the world.”

Medea Nocentini, Founder of C3, added: “We are delighted to partner with DMCC on this important initiative, empowering and supporting 20 impact-driven businesses establishing their presence in the UAE. Our programmes provide innovative and ambitious founders with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of business growth and impact measurement, while connecting them with relevant experts, potential clients and strategic investors. In the local markets, there is a significant opportunity for companies that have impact at the core of their strategy, so we are looking forward to kick-starting their expansion journeys and enabling them to create a positive impact across the region.”

DMCC will be offering a total of 20 ‘Impact’ business licences to the successful companies, providing them with substantial savings on business setup costs through a 70% discount on licence fees and flexi-desk space for two years. DMCC will also be providing further discounts on licence renewal from the third to the fifth year. Additionally, the successful start-ups will receive access to DMCC’s unparalleled facilities as well as its community of over 20,000 member companies to connect and network.

Once onboarded, the companies will go through a tailored training programme covering business expansion pillars: go-to-market strategies, sales and marketing, investor readiness, ESG agenda and impact measurement. The programme will leverage the C3 network of thousands of local experts, hundreds of regional investors and blue-chip partners.

This partnership forms part of DMCC’s broader ESG strategy, in which it looks to create value for the communities in which it operates. DMCC currently dedicates 0.5% of its annual profits to social impact initiatives. In August 2017, DMCC became the first free zone in the GCC to commit to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), encouraging responsible business practice throughout the entire value chain. As part of its commitment to the UNGC, DMCC publishes an annual sustainability report that highlights its progress on sustainability targets.  


Businesses can apply to the Programme on the C3 website 

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