Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Saudi foundation to promote social programme

Posted by newsonline at 4:04 AM 0 Comments

King Khalid Foundation, a Royal foundation in Saudi Arabia, and Acumen Fund, a global venture which helps deliver services to the poor, have partnered to raise the profile of the development sector and promote social entrepreneurship.

The two entities have joined hands to recruit a Saudi national for Acumen Fund’s Fellows Programme, in Fellows receive an opportunity to work with high impact social entrepreneurs for one year.

In the long run, the partnership hopes to build an entrepreneurial bench of professional talent with strong operational skills, experience in low-income markets, and the moral imagination to build enterprises that meet the needs of low-income customers in Saudi Arabia.

“This partnership is a great opportunity for young Saudis to explore social entrepreneurship and gain exposure to a unique experience that could bring a positive change to the country by promoting global best practices in the social sector,” HH Princess Banderi AR Al Faisal said at the third World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists in Doha.

Ankur Shah of Acumen Fund Middle East, said: “Each year, Acumen Fund recruits highly talented and passionate young professionals from across the world to develop leadership capacity and provide high impact management support to one of our social enterprises.”

“Poor people need work opportunities not dependency,” said Dr. Natasha Matic, Strategy Advisor, King Khalid Foundation.

“Traditional charity often fails to enable people to solve their problems over the long term,” she added.

“By building a network of strong leaders with financial and operational skills who will create opportunities that support the social enterprise sector, we will contribute to finding solutions to poverty.”

Acumen Fund's year-long fellowship begins every September with eight weeks of intensive and multidisciplinary leadership training in New York City.

Topics range from self reflection to negotiation and storytelling training to valuation techniques, marketing and operations. Fellows also meet with business leaders, writers and thinkers and explore issues related to Acumen Fund social investment geographies and sectors.

Following training in New York, Fellows begin their nine-month field placements with Acumen Fund investees. Each Fellow is assigned to a company, where they support senior management in tackling critical business issues - market expansion, business plan refinement, supply chain improvements, or even leading a new business initiative.

Over nine months, Fellows learn and apply skills in high impact operational roles at Acumen Fund investees.

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