As part of its ongoing commitment to support entrepreneurs, Microsoft has announced on Monday that it plans to join forces with Majid Al Futtaim to empower regional start-ups and SMEs through the Dubai-based retail giant’s Launchpad Programme. As a partner in the Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad accelerator initiative, Microsoft intends to commit resources and expertise to start-ups and SMEs across the Middle East and North Africa.
Joe Abi Akl, the Chief Corporate Development Officer at Majid Al Futtaim stated that the Mena region has one of the most unique and inspiring homegrown entrepreneurial communities across the globe. Through Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad, the company aims to nurture this ecosystem by providing expertise and tools, and creating opportunities for SMEs and start-ups in strategic sectors to scale their growth plans and strengthen the overall economic development of their markets.
He further added that with Microsoft as a key partner in their Launchpad Programme, Majid Al Futtaim wishes to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and lay the foundation for a prosperous future, not only for the UAE, but for communities across the MENA region.
Announced in June, the Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad initiative is aimed at assembling partners to support start-ups and SMEs in strategic sectors in their growth voyages, thereby boosting the innovation ecosystem and spurring economic development. As a strategic partner in the Launchpad programme, Microsoft intends to offer a range of benefits for participants.
Naim Yazbeck, the General Manager at Microsoft UAE stated that Microsoft is proud to stand with Majid Al Futtaim in its efforts to empower start-ups and SMEs and foster economic growth. He further mentioned that every business has the potential to be disrupted, and the fast-moving retail industry is on the frontier, serving an ever-growing number of discerning consumers. The company looks forward to assisting innovative enterprises on their journeys by presenting technology and knowledge as they turn their ideas into reality.
Microsoft Technology resources
Through the Microsoft for Start-ups Founder’s Hub Programme, the company intends to provide technology resources that allow start-ups to build their products. This comprises access to Azure, and use of Visual Studio Enterprise and GitHub Enterprise.
Other technologies designed to be offered by Microsoft for day-to-day business operations include Microsoft 365 and within Teams, and Power Platform as well as Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Service platforms. Authorised Launchpad participants may also have an opportunity to get go-to-market support from Microsoft through the company’s Co-Sell Programme, as well as benefit from Azure Marketplace. Additionally, Microsoft plans to extend industry mentorship and one-to-one technical consultancy sessions for B2B start-ups.
In its first phase, the Majid Al Futtaim Launchpad will focus on supporting three core growth areas, comprising:
- The Homegrown Brands to encourage start-ups with a unique and fascinating story, concentrating on culture and heritage, sustainability, and innovation
- Health and Beauty to recognize and elevate start-ups with innovative products and tech solutions aimed to elevate the customer experience.
- Proptech to target start-ups that offer innovative and sustainable solutions to help optimise the efficiency of construction, digitise residential communities’ property development, and hotels spaces that enrich customer experiences in the shopping mall.
Microsoft believes in what people make possible. The company’s mission is to empower every person and organization across the planet to achieve more. In the year 1991, Microsoft opened its Dubai-based headquarters, which at present oversees operations across the region.
About Majid Al Futtaim
Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, retail, communities and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, which was established in the year 1992.
A significant business, Majid Al Futtaim set out from one man’s vision to transform the face of shopping, entertainment, and leisure to create great moments for everyone, every day. It has since grown into one of the United Arab Emirates’ most esteemed and successful businesses spanning seventeen international markets, employing more than 43,000 people, and earning the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately held corporates in the region.
Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 29 shopping malls, 13 hotels and four mixed-use communities, with further advancements proceeding in the region. The shopping malls portfolio includes Mall of the Emirates, Mall of Egypt, Mall of Oman, My City Centre neighbourhood centres, City Centre malls and five community malls which are in joint venture with the Government of Sharjah. The Company is the franchisee for Carrefour in over 30 markets across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, operating a selection of over 400 outlets.