We have committed to building sustainable communities across our markets since inception, as we measure our success through the prosperity of our businesses as well as the communities around them.
One million people move to cities every week and 85% of today’s population lives outside North America and Europe. Rapid global urbanization is largely a growth market phenomenon, and is fuelled by increases in wealth and consumption led by young populations while providing the opportunity for private capital to address the world’s most pressing needs. As a leading investor serving growth markets for over a decade, we understand our responsibility as that of enabling our markets’ full potential through a long-term and city-centric investment philosophy. We commit financial resources, technical expertise and a multi-stakeholder approach to ensure sustainable growth. Our engagement includes targeted programs, support of key platforms and embedding ourselves further in local networks to the benefit of society at large. We also run a number of global partnerships that enable us to share the growth market opportunity with wider audiences, including with multi-lateral organizations, trade associations, international non-profit organizations and leading academic institutions.
Over the years, we have invested over US$100 million in more than 100 organizations and committed over 11,000 volunteering hours to causes and initiatives relevant to our markets. To date, we have supported 9,000+ entrepreneurs, 60+ artists, training of 6,500 youth, as well as over 30 academic and non-profit platforms. We are proud to have developed a model to pioneer the ability to create deep-rooted and sustainable change in our markets, by institutionalizing stakeholder engagement as integral to our culture and values.
Why stakeholder engagement matters
The private sector today is increasingly relied upon to put its expertise to the benefit of society. Through our extensive experience across sectors, Abraaj is uniquely placed to both inform global dialogue around the opportunities in our markets as well as proactively address complex challenges by enhancing the connectivity among stakeholders in every market where we operate. Moreover, we supplement our efforts towards holistic value creation through a number of initiatives, including the B Team and supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals through our participation in the Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development. This combined approach allows us to support our investment thesis and showcase impactful initiatives through global forums alongside public figures. One such example is that of our partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that has enabled raising awareness on how innovative financing improves the access, quality and affordability of healthcare for low-income populations in cities across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
We also aim to uplift our regions by embedding ourselves further in entrepreneurial and creative ecosystems, as we recognize these to be essential in building sustainable communities. Over the years, we have fostered innovation, enhanced connectivity among key players and strengthened local identities and open minds through creativity. We have done so by launching and supporting groundbreaking initiatives including hosting the Celebration of Entrepreneurship during which we launched Wamda.com, being the lead partner for Art Dubai and the patron of the Abraaj Group Art Prize, the leading art fair and prize in the MENASA region, and establishing the Abraaj RCA Innovation Scholarship as well as the Abraaj Growth Markets Grant to support forward-thinking youth.