We strongly believe in private equity’s potential to be a driving force for development and growth. In an effort to create sustainable impact in growth markets, we provide financial and human resources in three key areas: art and innovation, entrepreneurship, and the next generation.
Since inception, we have seen our role as going beyond that of a leading private equity firm providing its investors and shareholders with risk-adjusted returns well above industry benchmarks. We worked towards pioneering a model where the ability to create deep-rooted and sustainable changes in the economic landscape within our markets was as critical a benchmark of success as pure financial returns.
While many companies worldwide have structured their giving through a corporate foundation, we deliberately chose to institutionalize ours through a stakeholder model which is central to our business. The 5+5+5 is a unique program that drives collective action towards transforming our markets and unleashing their potential.
Through the 5+5+5 model, we contribute 5% of the Firm’s gross management fees, 5% of employee bonuses (on a voluntary basis) and a minimum of 5 days of volunteer work a year per employee towards stakeholder engagement. Since its establishment, our 5+5+5 program has been a cornerstone of the Firm’s philosophy, while its impact has been extensive globally.
Through this multi-stakeholder approach, we consolidated our social investment portfolio to resemble a private equity approach; long-term partnerships were established shifting us towards patient and strategic investments that are aligned with our core business and are geared towards creating sustainable shared value.
This led us to focus on three core areas: Building entrepreneurship ecosystems, celebrating art and innovation and empowering future generations across our global network.
We support early-stage companies and the development of ecosystems that foster innovative entrepreneurship across growth markets
EndeavorFind out more >
Endeavor is a non-profit organization dedicated to ‘high-impact entrepreneurship’ in growth markets. Founded in 1997, its goal is to help dynamic individuals with great business plans, so they in turn can help grow their local economies.
Since partnering with The Abraaj Group in 2010, Endeavor has grown by 30% and offered countless businesses access to mentors, advisers and professional networks.
Through our own networks, we have provided Endeavor with board members and mentors in Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. Our support has also enabled the organization to expand into Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Indonesia.
To learn more about our partnership with Endeavor, see the video in our Video Gallery.www.endeavor.org
WamdaFind out more >
Wamda, which means ‘sparkle’ in Arabic, is a platform to support and inspire entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa. It was conceived and developed entirely in the region and launched at our Celebration of Entrepreneurship event in Dubai in November 2010. There are several aspects to the organization, including the wamda.com website, which offers a constantly expanding library of articles, and video and audio content to highlight stories about small businesses that can inspire and educate entrepreneurs. In addition, the Wamda Capital Fund invests in early-stage companies in the region.www.wamda.com
Celebration of Entrepreneurship (CoE)Find out more >
In November 2010, The Abraaj Group ran the Celebration of Entrepreneurship (CoE) ‘non-conference’ in Dubai, which attracted more than 2,500 entrepreneurs, innovators, business leaders, investors, students and academics from 62 countries. The event featured 220 role models from the entrepreneurial world, and 1,800 mentoring sessions between successful CEOs and budding entrepreneurs took place.
It was the largest gathering of the entrepreneurial community ever to be held in the region, and 86% of attending entrepreneurs felt they achieved tangible results at the event, from idea generation to brokering new investments.
Further CoE gatherings have since been convened to focus on specific sectors such as e-commerce and animation.
For more information, see the Celebration of Entrepreneurship Consensus book.
Injaz Al Arab (Junior Achievement)Find out more >
Injaz Al Arab (Junior Achievement) provides education and training to students across the Middle East and North Africa with the ambition of inspiring them to become entrepreneurs.
The Abraaj Group works closely with the organization in Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. We were also instrumental in the launch of Injaz Pakistan.
We offer a mix of financial support—The Abraaj Group donates US$ 250,000 annually to Injaz Al Arab initiatives—and volunteering time. Recently, colleagues in our Egypt office participated in the Injaz Young Entrepreneurs Competition, in which university students with business ideas competed for seed funding. Egypt-based RecycloBekia, an e-waste recycling start-up, won the Abraaj award, and our team in Cairo is supporting the company to execute its business plan.www.injazalarab.org/
We celebrate the potential of artists and innovators through our support for the arts.
The Abraaj Group Art PrizeFind out more >
Launched in 2008, The Abraaj Group Art Prize is the flagship of our arts patronage program. It is the only arts prize in the world that rewards proposals rather than completed works of art or previous exhibitions. The Abraaj Group Art Prize’s broad network of curators, patrons, critics and art experts encourages promising artists from across the region to apply for part of the US$ 1 million which we award every year.
The prize money gives artists the freedom to be ambitious in their ideas and venture outside their comfort zone. As part of the prize, winners are given the opportunity to work with internationally renowned curators, selected by a committee, who will help them to tap into the latest trends within the art world. The Abraaj Group Art Prize has become a powerful tool through which we can empower individual potential and nurture exceptional artistic talent. In turn, winners become ambassadors for the prize and role models for new artists. In the five years since we launched The Abraaj Group Art Prize, we have received 1,816 applications from artists across 25 countries. Each year, we commission the winners to create ambitious pieces that become part of The Abraaj Group Art Collection. To date, we have commissioned 21 artworks that we have exhibited in Tunisia, the US, the UK, Italy, France and Australia.
Our ability to help The Abraaj Group Art Prize winners showcase their work on a global stage is opening up many new and exciting doors for these talented artists. Requests from leading arts institutions and biennials to borrow works from our collection are growing. This exposure has helped our winning artists to subsequently sell work to major arts institutions including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Tate in London. Supporting the arts is important but for us, The Abraaj Group Art Prize is about more than that. The prize reflects The Abraaj Group’s wider investment philosophy, which is to take viable businesses with great potential, and create regional and global champions. We are proud to be doing the same with MENASA’s talented new artists.www.abraajgroupartprize.com
Art DubaiFind out more >
Art Dubai is the leading international art fair in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, and is a cornerstone of the region’s booming contemporary art community. In 2013, Art Dubai welcomed 22,500 visitors and hosted 75 galleries from 32 countries. Held in March each year as part of the emirate’s Art Week, the fair includes specially commissioned projects and performances, educational workshops and a six-day Global Art Forum. Art Dubai is also the venue for the unveiling of new works by the winner of the annual Abraaj Group Art Prize, which was first awarded in 2009. The aim of the prize is to allow talented artists to break new ground and showcase work that reflects the region’s rich artistic and cultural heritage.www.artdubai.ae
Royal College of ArtFind out more >
The RCA is the world’s oldest and most influential university of art and design. Its alumni include David Hockney, Tracy Emin, Christopher Bailey, Ridley Scott, Zandra Rhodes and James Dyson. More than 67% of RCA alumni pursue entrepreneurial careers upon their graduation, and so are able to capitalize on the role the art and creative sectors play in job creation and economic expansion. The Abraaj Group launched the ground-breaking Abraaj Royal College of Art (RCA) Innovation Scholarship to empower creative potential and will be the largest scholarship programme of its kind globally for the creative postgraduate sector.http://www.rca.ac.uk/
We empower youth to contribute positively in their communities, enabling the leaders of tomorrow to sustain the growth of our markets.
Education for Employment (EFE)Find out more >
Education for Employment, an affiliated network of locally run non-profit organizations, creates economic opportunity for young people in the Middle East and North Africa. The organization aims to provide the youth of the region with the skills and opportunities necessary to build careers that alleviate poverty and create a better future for themselves, their communities and the world.efe.org
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)Find out more >
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) was founded in 1895 and has grown to become one of the most prestigious social science universities in the world. In September 2010, we launched the Abraaj Capital Private Equity research program, based at the university’s Financial Markets Group Research Centre. Its aim is to deepen the understanding of the role that private equity and venture capital play in the economy. The research program included the creation of a new degree program, an MSc in Finance and Private Equity.www.lse.ac.uk
The American University in CairoFind out more >
In May 2012, The Abraaj Group launched the Abraaj Capital Professorship in Private Equity at The American University in Cairo’s School of Business with a donation of US$ 1.1 million. The professorship is a cornerstone of the Master of Science in Finance program, launched in fall 2012. In addition, an endowment fund of US$ 100,000 has been created to strengthen academic research activities in private equity, venture capital and investment management. http://www.aucegypt.edu/Pages/default.aspx