Startup Spotlight: Dubai-Based Digital Platform Dal Global Is On A Mission To Bridge The Gap Between NGOs And Corporations

As a startup that is largely focused on social impact, its core line of work involves registering and connecting NGOs to corporations, while also helping the latter manage their contributions seamlessly.

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This article is part of an ongoing series covering startups that have been a part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) accelerator program.

Dal Global
Hasnaa Kebouri, founder and Managing Director, Dal Global

Given the number of companies around the world that are looking to align their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this has led them to seek out collaborations with credible social enterprises that can help them achieve such targets. Serving as a bridge in this aspect is Dal Global, a Dubai-based digital platform that connects corporations with non-profit organizations (NGOs). "The Dal platform aims at enabling corporations to embark into a journey towards investing in their SDG endeavors," explains Hasnaa Kebouri, founder and Managing Director of the startup. "The platform features targeted impact investment opportunities from NGOs to corporations, along with value-added impact services such as monitoring and evaluation (M&E), measurement, reporting, and others."

Initially launched in the United Kingdom in 2020, Dal Global shifted its headquarters to the UAE in 2021. As a startup that is largely focused on social impact, its core line of work involves registering and connecting NGOs to corporations, while also helping the latter manage their contributions seamlessly. As such, Dal Global's primary source of revenue comes from the subscription fees it charges both parties, as well as commission fees, which vary based on the nature of the projects. For Kebouri, creating Dal Global has been the result of her own convictions about philanthropy and impact. "Digitizing philanthropy and providing impactful and sustainable help has been one of my personal key objectives in life," she says. Having closed the startup's first two impact projects in Morocco and the Republic of The Gambia, Kebouri believes that the platform can prove to be advantageous to not just the corporations it supports, but the NGOs involved as well. "For one, most NGOs do not have organized and sustainable funding channels and struggle to fund impact projects, but we open doors for accessing such funds through our portal," explains Kebouri. "We can also help them in negating the challenges involved in finding the right partners to implement initiatives and campaigns, as well as gain exposure through global marketing."

Source: Dal Global

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From a corporation's perspective, Kebouri believes that it is the quick access to impact investment opportunities as well as alignment with CSR strategies that makes Dal Global's offerings enticing. "It can be challenging to choose the most compelling impact investments to align with the most relevant SDGs, especially when organized and reliable information is extremely challenging to find," she explains. "On the other hand, most inhouse-built CSR actions fail either due to lack of CSR projects expertise, misalignment of company CSR stakeholders, or a lack of appreciation of social actions." By enabling connections with reliable NGOs, Dal Global is thus hoping to put an end to this inefficient way of creating meaningful networks. Through this, not only does the startup ensure that a corporation's CSR agendas and activities are organized, it also aims to be a source for reliable data regarding the social impact investment sector. "It is difficult to trace the quality of a given project's implementation and its impact, making accountability a difficult task for sustainable impact, which is why we also offer accountability services from the NGOs," Kebouri adds.

Today, with a team of two employees, three board members, as well as four coordinators allocated to ongoing projects, Dal Global is focused on laying all the important groundwork for the months to come. "The first six months will be focused on establishing the essential network, processes, and approvals necessary for operations," explains Kebouri. "The size of the company is expected to grow with the number of projects facilitated, and the geographical areas covered." Through the startup's journey in the UAE so far, Kebouri admits that issues such as a lack of awareness regarding legal set-up, and the high costs of marketing and technological solutions have been a pain point. But thanks to the startup's participation in the MBRIF accelerator program, a lot of those troubles were eased quite quickly, says the founder. "MBRIF helped tremendously in refining my value proposition and meeting with key stakeholders," Kebouri adds. "It has truly accelerated our operations and helped me decide to settle in the Middle East."

Now, as Kebouri and her team gear up to start their operations in the UAE in full swing, she remains mindful of why she does this in the first place. "Our clients are real people in corporations who care about solving humanity's poverty issues and act as responsible and dedicated organizations to the good of society," she remarks. "The Dal Global platform is digital for sure, but our projects are tangible and genuine, and impact real people's futures. It is here for connecting the good!"

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