UAE-based Start-Up Nadeera Receives $100,000 Grant from PepsiCo
PepsiCo has announced UAE-based start-up Nadeera, as the winner of the first iteration of its Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition following a rigorous judging process, and a six-month PepsiCo mentorship program.
Nadeera will receive a grant of $100,000, as well as a host of other benefits to scale their sustainable packaging solution and grow their business.
Nadeera is a social enterprise that leverages technology to promote waste sorting at source. It’s product ‘Yalla Return’, is the first Trash for Cash system in the MENA region which gives customers cash rewards based on the quantity of recyclables they turn in.
The concept provides resident-centric, technology-enabled waste management solutions for municipalities and waste management authorities.
In their presentation to the judges, Nadeera demonstrated consistent revenue growth since participating in the program and a strong pipeline to scalability in their concept within the next six months.
The winner was announced at the closing event held at Museum of the Future following pitches and a product showcase by each start-up.
In attendance were H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and Aamer Sheikh, PepsiCo Middle East CEO.
The judging panel included Medea Nocentini, COO of Global Ventures, Dr Lina Prada, Director at SABIC, Tammer Qaddumi, Co-Founder of VentureSouq, Mohamed AlHosani, Chief Sustainability Officer at BEEAH Group, Yasmin Fansa, Sustainability Lead for PepsiCo MENA and Butti Almuhairi, Member of the Arab Youth Council for Climate Change.
All start-ups that participated in the program received a grant of $20,000 and one-on-one mentorship from PepsiCo and Food Tech Valley executives over six months, who guided them on everything from research and development to business models, marketing, and fundraising.
The Greenhouse Accelerator Program is a global, mentor-led accelerator program that launched in MENA in November 2021.
The first iteration, in partnership with the MOCCAE and Food Tech Valley, sought to identify regional start-ups with innovative solutions focused on sustainable packaging and recycling, driving forward PepsiCo Positive (pep+) goals to help build a circular and inclusive value chain.
Speaking on the occasion, Her Excellency said: “Start-ups have always been known to rise to the challenge, innovate fearlessly, and break the mould, particularly in the face of rising global challenges like sustainability.
"The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is delighted to support PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator Program that recognizes the potential of startups in making the food and beverage sector more sustainable.
"The initiative aligns with the UAE’s drive to shift towards a circular economy and is another example of how great ideas can come through open innovation & collaboration."
Aamer Sheikh, CEO, Middle East – PepsiCo: “The Greenhouse Accelerator program is a significant milestone for PepsiCo as we work towards building a positive value chain and prioritizing circularity through PepsiCo Positive (pep+).
"The region has set an example in placing sustainability at the top of the agenda at major events like Expo 2020 Dubai, COP27, the Saudi Green Initiative and the upcoming COP28, sparking critical discussions with players at different levels to effect systemic change.
"We are delighted to partner with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Food Tech Valley for this edition of the program as we work together to drive the circular economy agenda in the region."
Rabih El Chaar, CEO & Co-founder – Nadeera: “We’re beyond excited to have been selected as the winners of PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator Program. We recognize we were up against a pool of exceptional regional start-ups with a similar goal, passion, and capabilities, and are very grateful for this recognition.
"The financial support as well as the mentorship from the last several months will help us grow our business in ways we couldn’t have envisioned before the program. As a start-up in the sustainability sector, we are trying to overcome many hurdles.
"From changing consumer mindsets to overcoming challenges related to capital, resources, and network – we have a long way to go."
"Multinational companies, the public sector, and start-ups have a lot to gain from each other, and we hope more programs like PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator can bring us together and help foster a nurturing environment for groundbreaking innovation."