Dubai – MENA Herald: Building on the successful 2015 event in Dubai and the subsequent editions in Lebanon, the UK and Jordan, CSR in Action returns this year to the UAE for its 11th edition, under the theme ‘Building a sustainable future’. The initiative developed by Al Ahli Holding Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) division, to enhance social entrepreneurship and CSR skills among the youth of the country.

The CSR in Action workshop commenced on May 1 and runs until May 9 2016 at the Dubai Entrepreneurship Academy, an initiative of Dubai SME – the agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the SME sector – Inbt in collaboration with Dubai SME and Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtec), a wholly owned technology incubation centre by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) and the largest centre of its kind in the Middle East.

The seven-day event will converge 30 participants – 25 university students and five CSR practitioners – as well as invited speakers and mentors. Participants will attend five workshop sessions that are designed to train them on how to develop impactful sustainability projects and social enterprises – from conceptualizing the idea to developing a business plan and implementing the plan.

The 11th edition of CSR in Action will challenge participants to put their ideas into practice to create a positive impact in the world. Participants will be divided into groups that will be mandated to create projects for a competition with the help of CSR in Action experts, and mentors from Dubai SME and Dtec. Teams will have one month to work on their projects, and three of the best teams will be nominated to present their ideas at the CSR Summit on May 20 – during which the winning team will be awarded.

Speaking about the program, Lina Hourani, Director of Al Ahli Holding Group’s CSR division, said: “CSR in Action encourages experts and stakeholder institutions to share their knowledge and pay society forward through building a socially responsible generation. The initiative provides the opportunity to develop and enhance the practice and awareness of CSR and motivates practitioners to design social businesses that also simultaneously help augment participants’ conceptual understanding.”

Ibtihal Al Naji, Director of Enterprises Development in Dubai SME, commented: “For Dubai SME, the social angle of entrepreneurship is a critical element of our initiatives to groom entrepreneurial talent and develop start-up enterprises. We consider programmes like CSR in Action an extension of our efforts to sustain the entrepreneurial culture in Dubai.”

For his part, William Chappell, Chief Financial Officer, and Executive Vice President – Technology and Entrepreneurship at DSOA, said: “When we developed Dtec, we made sure at DSOA to establish a technology incubation centre that offers entrepreneurs and start-ups an inspiring environment that not only boosts their creativity but also guides them and helps develop their entrepreneurial skills. We are pleased that we are able to utilize the knowledge gained in our DTEC centre to encourage the younger generation to start thinking about the importance of establishing their own start-ups that can become successful businesses in the future”

Participation in the CSR in Action initiative is free of charge for UAE nationals. Registration can be done via CSR’s website at www.csralahligroup.com.