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MAN IMPACT ACCELERATOR – A SUCCESS STORY CONTINUED
26 Jun 2019
MAN South Africa
MAN South Africa
MAN and Yunus Social Business celebrate successful completion of the second round of the startup mentoring program // CEO Joachim Drees announces continuation of the Social Business Accelerator from fall 2019 // New locations: São Paulo (Brazil) and Lisbon (Portugal)
Founders and MAN experts came together for knowledge exchange. MAN and Yunus Social Business have completed the second round of the MAN Impact Accelerator program, adding another chapter to the success story that is this one-of-a-kind corporate social responsibility program. As announced by Joachim Drees, Chief Executive Officer of MAN Truck & Bus, a third round is set to begin in the fall of 2019.
Batch #2 of the MAN Impact Accelerator, which has now been completed, was supported by over 150 mentors from MAN and other well-known companies such as Amazon, Uber, or Google startups from Europe, India, and South Africa. They helped entrepreneurs to sharpen their vision for their company, to make their organizational structure sustainable, and to take the next steps in growing their business.
Unlike other incubator programs, this initiative is only open to companies working in the social or ecological sector. Unsurprisingly, the sustainability aspect was the focal point of the mentoring process: how can company founders maximize their contribution to society and the environment and their social commitment while maintaining business success?
The most promising transportation and logistics startups were selected from around 270 applications to join the second round of the mentoring program, which was implemented with the support of Yunus Social Business – an initiative founded by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus.
“The results really speak for themselves! During the Accelerator program, four of the startups were able to convince key investors of their company and their vision, generating additional funding of more than 2 million U.S. dollars. Moreover, our entrepreneurs now employ around 70% more people and, after completing the program, have more than doubled their customer base, growing it by 135%. This result exceeded our expectations – and we’re proud of it,” rejoices Joachim Drees, initiator of the MAN Impact Accelerator. The startups managed to boost their sales revenue by over 40%, with their business ideas reaching almost two and a half times as many people compared to before the start of the program.
And yet, the MAN Impact Accelerator is so much more than a corporate social responsibility initiative. An important part of the program is using mentors from in-house. Twelve MAN employees from every possible area of the company including Corporate Strategy, Production, Sales, HR, or Development, support the startups as they navigate the program. In doing so, they not only impart their expertise to the budding entrepreneurs, but also benefit considerably from the content of the program.
“We take our social responsibility very seriously and want to share our years of experience in the field of transportation and logistics with those it can benefit the most. This is why we are delighted to be able to support a new group of startups on their journey to more social impact with batch #3 of the program come fall,” announces Drees. The addition of São Paulo (Brazil) and Lisbon (Portugal), which will replace San Francisco (U.S.A.) and Bangalore (India), will in all likelihood mean another two key startup regions being represented in the program. Social business startups working in the fields of mobility, transportation, and logistics can apply to take part in the next round from August 2019.