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Abraaj Capital Limited: Celebration of Entrepreneurship (CoE)

Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan (Faculty of Business and Management, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, UAE)
Ian Michael (College of Business Sciences, Zayed University, Dubai, UAE)

Publication date: 1 October 2011

Issue publication date: 1 October 2011


Subject area

Strategic stakeholder engagement, entrepreneurialism, ecosystem, corporate social responsibility, event management, branding, marketing strategy.

Study level/applicability

Post-graduate level, practitioners interested in MENSA Region, entrepreneurship policy makers and NGOs.

Case overview

Abraaj Capital Ltd (Abraaj), a highly reputed private equity investment and management company, strongly believed in corporate social responsibility, strategic stakeholder engagement and entrepreneurship ecosystem development. In November, 2010, Abraaj held the “Celebration of Entrepreneurship” (CoE) a two-day free entrepreneur event, in Dubai. CoE was attended by more than 2,400 participants. The purpose of CoE was to contribute to building an entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Middle East North Africa South Asia region (MENASA). Based on participant feedback, CoE Outcomes and stakeholder feedback, the event was very successful.

This case is a good example of community engagement and showcases entrepreneurship ecosystem development. This case also highlights the challenges of putting together a signature event in a very short time frame. The future management dilemmas are also raised on various issues like whether to make this successful event a regular part of their organizational activities, and issues concerning the funding of such events. This case can be used to teach event management, branding, marketing strategy, CSR and entrepreneurship (from the ecosystem point of view). It will appeal to both educationalists and practitioners interested in the MENASA region, policy makers who facilitate entrepreneurship, CSR managers, event management companies and marketing specialist. It can be used to teach both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Expected learning outcomes

Strategy students can focus on marketing and branding strategies; like stakeholder engagement, internal marketing, social media, positioning and brand architecture. Student of event management can learn about prioritizing, adaptability, funding and the complexity of layering a program.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes, videos.



This case was written by Dr Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan and Dr Ian Michael. It was prepared using company information and interviews and its intention was to provide material for class discussion through publication. The authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.


Balakrishnan, M.S. and Michael, I. (2011), "Abraaj Capital Limited: Celebration of Entrepreneurship (CoE)", , Vol. 1 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © Balakrishnan and Michael 2011

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