13 January, 2015
University of Wollongong in Dubai

At the end of the program, each participant will receive a certificate of participation from AIBMENA.


11.00-12.30: Session 1: Branding the Entrepreneur for VC Funding
Facilitators: Dr. Melodena S. Balakrishnan, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dr. Ian Michael, Zayed University and Ionica Murtaza, Emirates Aviation College. This session is sponsored by AIBMENA.

Session 1: Brandingthe Entrepreneur for VC Funding
Contrary  to  common  assumption,  the  development  of  a personal  brand  is  an important  criterion  for  funding  for entrepreneurs. By understanding what potential venture capitalist investors are looking for, it is possible to communicate criteria for evaluation relevant for them to make a decision. We will be presenting the Entrepreneurial Brand Personality Equity Model developed by Balakrishnan and Michael, (2011). Critical factors you must consider before pitching will be identified vis-a-vis different types of private  investors, stage of business and some strategies on how you can project  these qualities will be discussed. Parts of the findings are funded by a grant by Abraaj Capital Group.

12.30-1.30: Lunch Break (participants can go to the KV food court for lunch)

1.30-2.30: Session 2: Understanding growth & scalability:
Facilitators: Dr. Melodena S Balakrishnan and Prof. Valerie Lindsay, University of Wollongong in Dubai.

Session 2: Understanding growth & scalability
Social entrepreneurs have various forms and challenges based on their purpose. This session provides a macro-viewpoint of the strategies social entrepreneurs can use to scale enterprises. Identifying your potential roadblocks and assessing what other successful entrepreneurs have done (you are not alone), may help you scale the hurdles of growth.  The findings were part of a study sponsored by a UAE National Research Foundation  grant. The session will cover

  • The SE Stages and Ecosystem
  • Managing multiple stakeholders
  • Managing Resources

2.30-3.30: Session 3: The Winning Business Models for Social Ventures:
Facilitators: Dr. Victor Huang, Zayed University. This session is sponsored by AIBMENA.

Session 3: Winning Business Model for Social Ventures
With the emergence social ventures, innovation in business model has re-captured attention from organisations seeking survival and sustainable growth. Although the recognition of social ventures’ importance is mounting, progress towards becoming a true social business isn’t. “Winning business model for social ventures” develops a roadmap that will enable organisations to recognise and discover generic business model as a system of interconnected and interdepend activities both flexible in nature and experimental in practice. Business model choice and evolution for social ventures employ a systematic process to consider design configurations that may yield a high probability of success.

  1. Social venture struggles and pitfalls
  2. Divergent paths to social impact and change
  3. What is a business model? Process, progress, and design

3.30 – 4.30 Session 4: Measuring Impact
This session is sponsored by Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3), a social entrepreneurship accelerator based in Dubai. Their purpose is to enable Middle East emerging social entrepreneurs  to become active agents of positive social change by leveraging experienced business professionals seeking meaningful ways to give back.  This session  is facilitated by Tena Pick and Rebecca Hill of C3.

Session 4: Measuring Impact
Measuring social impact is one of the biggest challenges social enterprises face. It is crucial for social enterprises to know how much impact their activities are creating and weather or not that impact is positive. This session explains the importance of data generation and analysis and gives an overview of available methodologies, with a focus on Social Return on Investment (SROI). The participants will leave with a clear idea of how to approach social impact measurement and what they need to cover in order to execute the measurement successfully.

Facilitator Profiles:

Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan has over 20+ years of corporate and academic experience.She has a multicultural background having lived in India, USA, Taiwan and now UAE. Her corporate experience was in market potential estimation, market and product development strategies and joint venture negotiations. Her area of strength is strategy. She is able to manage diverse stakeholder needs. She is on the Advisory Board of Sixth Factor, a boutique  market research  consultancy  firm and the Leadership  Committee  for Arab World Social Entrepreneurship Program (ASEP) a MENA based initiative between Ashoka Arab World and Crescent Enterprises. She is an Associate  Professor in the University of Wollongong in Dubai, one of UAE’s oldest private universities and is a visiting Professor in Karlshoshcshule International University, Karlshule, Germany. Her areas of research are place branding,  social entrepreneurship, crisis management  and loyalty studies. She  has  won  several competitive research grants and recognitions in these areas and published in leading journals like the European Journal of Marketing. She is the Founder and President of a volunteer organization,  Academy of International  Business – MENA chapter (AIBMENA)  that has contributed  to the visibility  of the region in education  and research.   She has co-edited three books of cases on the Middle East exploring topics like managing in crisis and the intersection  of west and east based management.

Ian Michael is an Associate  Professor of Marketing  at Zayed University,  Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). He completed  a Doctor  of Business  Administration  (DBA)  at Victoria  University,  Melbourne,  Australia.  Ian’s research thesis examined  consumer  behavior  over the internet,  and was a pioneering  study in the area at that time  in Australia.  He  also  holds  an  MBA  degree,  and  he  did  a research  thesis  titled  “The  economic impact of overseas students on tourism in Victoria-Australia”, this again was a first of its kind research study. Ian has around 18 years of industry experience,  in India and Australia,  he held senior executive positions  in the Travel & Tourism industry in both countries.  He also has experience  in the Banking & Finance,   Advertising,   Pharmaceutical  and  Transport   &  Logistics   industry.   Ian  is  a  Fellow   of  the Australian  Marketing  Institute (FAMI), and a Certified Marketing  Practitioner  (CPM). He has a number of refereed articles published in high quality journals, and has also presented at leading academic conferences. Ian has lead international research teams, and is presently working in an international research team at the Copenhagen  Business School in Copenhagen,  Denmark.

Victor Huang is an Assistant  Professor  of Entrepreneurship at Zayed  University,   an Adjunct  Professor  of Management  at Khalifa University  (KUSTAR).  He serves on the UAE team of Global    Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Consortium,   which  publishes   the  bi-annual  UAE  national  report  on  entrepreneurial  activities.   Dr. Huang’s  research  explores  entrepreneurial  opportunity  and  growth,  His  current  research  interests include: macroeconomic determinants of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial ecosystem, diaspora/multiculturalism, and female entrepreneurship. Dr. Huang’s    academic writing has appeared in leading  scholarly  outlets including  the Academy  of Management  Learning  & Education,  the Journal of Management,  Journal  of Business  Venturing.  He has been     quoted  in the Business  Week  and the Wall  Street   Journal.   His  latest  co-authored   book:  Entrepreneurship  –  an  Emirati   Perspective,   is available  in both Arabic  and English.  Dr. Huang  is a member  of the Academy  of Management  (AOM), and Vice-President (Academic  Affairs) of the Academy  of International  Business  (AIB) MENA Chapter. Prior to working  in academia,  he was an advisory  consultant  at Ernst & Young  where  he engaged in numerous corporate venturing projects with client companies such as: Apple, Microsoft, Henko, CRH, EMC corporation,  etc.

Valerie Lindsay is a Professor  and Dean of the Faculty of Business at the University  of Wollongong  in Dubai (UOWD). Prior to  joining   UOWD,   she  held  academic   positions   at  the  Victoria   University   of  Wellington,   the University   of  Auckland,   both  in  New  Zealand,   and  at  the  University   of  Warwick,   in  the  UK, specializing  in international  business and strategy. Professor Lindsay’s research interests lie in the area of international strategy, specifically, internationalization and market entry, SMEs, services internationalization  and  business   in  Asia.  Her  work  has  been  published   in  leading   journals, including Management International Review, Organizational Dynamics, Industrial Marketing Management,  and  International  Journal  of Services  Industry  Marketing,  and  she co-authored  the book,  ‘Knowledge   at  Work’. Professor   Lindsay  has  also  consulted   widely  in  the  UK  and  New Zealand in areas relating to Strategy and Internationalization.

Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3):  C3 enables  Middle  East emerging  social entrepreneurs to become active agents of positive social change by leveraging experienced business professionals  seeking meaningful  ways to give back.

Tena Pick is co-founder  and CEO  at The  Sustainability  Platform,  a Social  Impact  Consultancy  focusing  on CSR  initiatives, NGOs and small and medium enterprises  looking to integrate social business principles into their core    business    operations.    The    Sustainability     Platform    is    specialising    in    social    impact measurement  and scaling of social enterprises.  Tena is also the Head of Media for C3- Consult and Coach  for  a Cause,  a non-for  profit  organization  that  brings  together  business  professionals  and social  entrepreneurs  in the  MENA  region  (Middle  East  and  North  Africa).  She  handles  all  media relations for the organization  and is the editor of the blog( ).Tena holds a Master in Social Entrepreneurship and is passionate  about using her skills to help create social change. Her previous experience  in banking and consulting  has given her valuable insights onto what makes the business world efficient and now she uses those techniques to help social enterprises  maximize  their  outreach. .  Tena  has  also  led  an  international  and  multidisciplinary
team during a bio gar project in Indonesia. She was in charge of the team’s communication with the government and the community.   The   project   was   sponsored   by  HSBC.   Her   main   interests   include   community   development   and   women empowerment,  as well as social marketing.

Rebecca Hill will be joining Tena. Rebecca  is helping C3 engage partners and build strategic relations that ensure C3 success and more importantly  Regional social enterprise’s  sector development.  Rebecca brings 20 years+ of  experience   in  execution,   management,   training,   and  staff  development.   Her  career  spans through  Europe, US, Asia, Middle East, with focus both on PR and Corporate  Communications as well as Finance (working for firms like James Capel (now HSBC), the European Bank for Reconstruction  & Development  and Standard  & Poor’s (part of the McGraw-Hill Companies)  and Non-Profit sectors. Of particular interest for the C3 community is Rebecca’s non-profit experience as executive director at Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA). She took moribund organisation   and  rebuilt   it  (2008-2011).  At  time  of  departure   MEPRA   had  more  than  260 individual members, 28 registered agencies and a database of over 1000 practitioners

Registration for the course

The course is free but registration  is limited. If you are interested in participating  in this program for all three sessions, please send us your name, social entrepreneurship firm affiliation and designation.  Please register by January 8, 2015.

Acknowledgements: This workshop would not be possible if not for the help from AIBMENA and all our volunteer experts, the generosity of UOWD and our case companies. Thank you.