Social innovation

Perspectives

Deloitte Accelerator for Social Innovation in the Middle East

Social innovation on the rise

The Deloitte Accelerator for Social Innovation (DASI) is a 12-month accelerator program for social enterprises comprised of a competition and a support pack of pro-bono services, networking opportunities, mentorship and skills-development.

DASI will aim to help address some of the Middle East region’s most pressing social and environmental challenges by accelerating the power of social enterprises. Through this program, we want to provide innovative social enterprises with the knowledge, services, and networks to succeed at scaling up their impact and becoming financially sustainable. Thought DASI, we aim to pioneer the acceleration of social enterprises and inclusive business growth in the Middle East region.

About the program

DASI is a Deloitte Middle East Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CR&S) program that aims to help address our region's social challenges by empowering and supporting small and medium sized social enterprises to grow and scale their impact. Social enterprises are companies or NGO's that operate with a social or environmental purpose, while having a viable business model and sustainable revenue stream.

DASI's components include a regional competition across 13 countries in the Middle East to identify two winning innovative social enterprises that will receive customized Deloitte support packs of advisory services, mentorship, networking opportunities, and skills-development valued at over US$ 100,000. The program supports gender parity by encouraging social enterprises fully or partially owned by women to apply.

DASI's goals and design are aligned with Deloitte's Global WorldClass initiative that aims to empower 50 million futures by 2030.

Objectives

Pioneer the acceleration of social enterprises across the Middle East.
Help to solve some of our region's pressing challenges by supporting social enterprises through advice, services, accessibility to knowledge and networks enabling them to scale up their impact.
Spearhead the movement towards social innovation in the Middle East, raise awareness and engage stakeholders while reinforcing the firm's purpose of making an impact that matters in society.
Support women advancement by encouraging women-led/managed social enterprises and women's participation in the social entrepreneurship field.

Stages of DASI

Applicant criteria

Who are we looking for? We are looking for organizations that have clear business models, social impact and can demonstrate how working with us will help them grow. These social enterprises should meet the following criteria:

Profile: Middle East-based1 social enterprise2 aiming to solve a social or environmental issue in the Middle East3. At least one of the organization's founders must be an Arab national.
Age: Social enterprise at the early stage level, minimum of two years of operating accounts with year-on-year growth.
Social impact: The social impact of the social enterprise needs to be evident. Social impact is the effect that the organization is having on the well-being of the community or environment.
Innovation: Innovative idea or product or service.
Business model: Clear and healthy business model based on sustainable revenue streams.
Commitment: Strong and qualified leadership willing to commit to the program.
Support need: Clear and realistic articulation of the type of support and assistance required from Deloitte.
Only for competition category A: Women representation in management or founding team: a social enterprise managed by women or with women founders owning at least 50% of shares.
1- The organization should be domiciled in one of the following countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestinian territories, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Libya, or Yemen.
2- We are not distinguishing between a social enterprise and a social business. We are essentially looking for organizations that are operating with a social or environmental purpose. They must have a business plan and sustainable revenue streams, which enable them to compete in mainstream markets, often challenging the status quo, and maximise their social or environmental impact.
3- Legal registration: an organization could be registered as:
- a for-profit enterprise or a regular business
- a non-governmental organization (NGO)

given that some countries in the Middle East do not have a legal structure for social enterprises

DASI competition categories

Applicants will be able to participate by choosing one of two categories:

A    

A social enterprise that meets the DASI applicant criteria including the criterion on women representation in management or ownership.

      

B    

A social enterprise that meets the DASI applicant criteria excluding the criterion on women founders owning at least 80% of shares of the enterprise.

Two social enterprises will be chosen at the end of the competition, one from each of the above categories.

Deloitte offering

Equity-free advisory services
Two winning social enterprises - one from each competition category - will receive customized advisory services from Deloitte of a value up to USD 50,000 each, based on need. Deloitte will not take equity in return for its services.
Relationship project leader
Each winning organization will be assigned a Deloitte project leader to manage the relationship of the social enterprise with Deloitte during the duration of the program.
Mentorship and skills-development
Each winning organization will be matched with Deloitte and/or Ashoka mentors to provide support and mentoring during the acceleration period.
Networking and knowledge-sharing
The winning organizations will get access to networking opportunities/events and access to Deloitte's wide network as relevant and appropriate.
Regional and international exposure
The winning organizations will receive exposure opportunities through engagement in the program. This will include exposure of their organization and/or service or product as part of the communications and public relations campaigns that will be run by Deloitte.

Themes

We are looking for social enterprises that are aligned with at least <1> of the following predefined themes:

Education & skills-building
Women advancement
Health & well-being
Environmental sustainability
Humanitarian action

Competition phases

  • Round 1 - Initial application
    Interested social enterprises are invited to download the application form, fill it offline and then send it along with a copy of audited financial statements for the last 2 years, and Commercial Certificate (if a business) or Certificate of Notification (if an NGO/association) by email to dtmecr@deloitte.com
    • Application review: Deloitte professionals and collaborating organizations will review the applications received.
      Round 1 finalists will be identified.
  • Round 2 - Interviews
    Deloitte professionals will conduct live or virtual interviews with finalists.
    • Final selection: Winning organizations will be identified.

Timeline

  •  

February 2018:        

Applications open 

  •  

April 15, 2018:

Applications close

  •  

June -
August 2018:                                          

Round 1 finalist organizations informed and invited to virtual or live interviews

  •  

September 2018:

Winning organizations will be notified

  •  

September - October 2018:

Scoping and commencing of winning organizations’ relationship with Deloitte

Judging criteria

We will be judging applications based on the following criteria:

  • Social impact: Degree of solving a social or environmental problem.
  • Scalability: Robustness of the business model and potential for growth.
  • Innovation element: Degree of innovation in the core idea/product/service.
  • Leadership: Strength and suitability of the leadership team to the needs of the organization.
  • Needs match: Ability to articulate the business need from Deloitte.
  • Women ownership of shares (only for competition category 1): Women founders owning at least 80% of shares of the social enterprise.

What does Deloitte get in return?

DASI is a Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) program by Deloitte Middle East that reinforces our commitment to our purpose, which is to make an impact that matters in society. Our CR&S begins with our core business strategy and extends to the way we interact with our clients, our people and the communities we work and live in. DASI is an exemplification of this commitment, where we are aiming to make a difference in our communities through our core expertise.

Through this program, we want to provide innovative social enterprises with the knowledge, services, and networks to succeed at scaling up their impact and becoming sustainable. In this 21st century, we believe that it is imperative to leverage our knowledge and resources in solving social and environmental challenges and give back to the communities in which we operate.

Application form

Click here to download the DASI application form.

Collaborating organizations

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click here to access the FAQs.

DASI guide

Click here to download the full DASI guide.