Crescent Enterprises is a multinational company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) employing 4,585 people in 20 countries across five continents, whose operations encompass sectors including ports and logistics, power and engineering, business aviation, and healthcare. A minimum of five per cent of Crescent Enterprises’ projected annual net cash flow is dedicated to its corporate citizenship programmes Tweet This!, which in 2016 focused on developing entrepreneurship—including soft skills that are not usually taught in schools—among schoolchildren, university students, young entrepreneurs, and businesswomen.
This case study is based on the 2016/17 Sustainability Report by Crescent Enterprises published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.
Crescent Enterprises’ approach to corporate citizenship aims to foster a culture of empowerment, excellence, and respect throughout its workforce, and to go beyond passive charity and financial contributions. In order to develop entrepreneurship among schoolchildren, university students, women and young entrepreneurs Crescent Enterprises took action to:
- invest in the entrepreneurial capabilities of children and young people
- provide expertise to the American University of Sharjah students
- share knowledge and experience with Columbia Business School students
- empower female entrepreneurs to succeed
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With this case study you will see:
- Which are the most important impacts (material issues) Crescent Enterprises has identified;
- How Crescent Enterprises proceeded with stakeholder engagement, and
- What actions were taken by Crescent Enterprises to develop entrepreneurship among schoolchildren, university students, women and young entrepreneurs
What are the material issues the company has identified?
In its 2016/17 Sustainability Report Crescent Enterprises identified a range of material issues, such as financial performance, anti-corruption and bribery, biodiversity, regulatory compliance, employee well-being. Among these, developing entrepreneurship among schoolchildren, university students, women and young entrepreneurs stands out as a key material issue for Crescent Enterprises.
Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:
Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.
Key stakeholder groups Crescent Enterprises engages with:
|Government and regulators|
|Communities around operations|
How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues
To identify and prioritise material topics Crescent Enterprises carried out a survey targeting its internal and external stakeholders, to receive their feedback.
In its 2016/17 Sustainability Report Crescent Enterprises reports that it took the following actions for developing entrepreneurship among schoolchildren, university students, women and young entrepreneurs:
- Investing in the entrepreneurial capabilities of children and young people
- For the first time in the Emirate of Sharjah, an entrepreneurship programme was introduced for kids as a pilot by Crescent Enterprises, in partnership with the Sharjah Ladies Club. Over a course of three days, 11 girls aged 8-13 participated in a series of workshops aimed at improving their entrepreneurial skills. The young participants learned how to identify promising business ideas and to create business models, which they then pitched to a panel of investors. Additionally, Crescent Enterprises’ Executive Director Neeraj Agrawal participated as a judging panellist at the annual INJAZ Al-Arab Young Arab Entrepreneurs Competition, which gathered 20 teams of young Arab entrepreneurs to compete for the titles of “University Company of the Year”, “School Company of the Year”, and seven other awards.
- Providing expertise to the American University of Sharjah students
- Crescent Enterprises’ management offered their expertise and encouragement at the American University of Sharjah’s Enterprising Youth event, which explored the UAE entrepreneurship scene through workshops, discussion panels, and a start-up pitch competition.
- Sharing knowledge and experience with Columbia Business School students
- For the second consecutive year, Crescent Enterprises welcomed to its offices MBA students from Columbia Business School on an educational trip to the UAE, to strengthen ties between nations and help support the leaders of tomorrow. During their visit, Crescent Enterprises introduced the 32 students to its operating businesses and strategic investments across the globe. Crescent Enterprises then highlighted the best practices it seeks to follow before concluding with a tour of the Sharjah Container Terminal, managed by Gulftainer. The event was an occasion for Crescent Enterprises to share its own history and demonstrate how its small homegrown family business became the trusted, diversified, and global conglomerate that it is today.
- Empowering female entrepreneurs to succeed
- To empower female entrepreneurs in the Middle East, Crescent Enterprises partnered with the Sharjah Ladies Club to support their Collage Talent Centre and Ebriez Exhibition. The aim is to help equip 11,000 women and children with the appropriate entrepreneurial skills to set up their own businesses while providing them with a space to pursue their aspirations. In June 2016, 33 female entrepreneurs promoted their products at the Ebriez Exhibition. Together with the Club, Crescent Enterprises aims to reach 11,000 community members, providing them with entrepreneurial skills through educational and talent workshops. In addition, Crescent Enterprises is a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP), which aim to advance the status of women across all sectors and economic activities. Crescent Enterprises supports gender equality through its equal opportunities policies and community capacity-building programmes that help women break through the glass ceiling.
Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?
The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs
Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs does not correspond to any SDG.
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1) This case study is based on published information by Crescent Enterprises, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:
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