Nadeera wins $100,000 grant from PepsiCo

  • UAE-based cleantech Nadeera has won a $100,000 grant as part of PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator Programme. 
  • Founded in 2020 by Rabih El Chaar and Reem Khattar, Nadeera is a social enterprise with a ‘trash-for-cash’ system called ‘Yalla Return’.
  • All participant startups in the programme received a grant of $20,000 and one-on-one mentorship from PepsiCo and Food Tech Valley executives over six months.

Press release:

PepsiCo has announced UAE-based startup 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 programme. Nadeera will receive a grant of $100,000 and 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. Its product ‘Yalla Return’, is the first Trash for Cash system in the MENA region which gives customers cash rewards based on the number of recyclables they turn in. The concept provides resident-centric, technology-enabled waste management solutions for municipalities and waste management authorities. In its 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 the Museum of the Future following pitches and a product showcase by each startup. In attendance was Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Aamer Sheikh, PepsiCo Middle East CEO, as well as an esteemed judging panel including Medea Nocentini, the Senior partner and COO of Global Ventures, Dr Lina Prada, Director of Application Development & Industry Solutions within the Technology & Innovation Department 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.

In addition to the prize fund, the winner will receive an annual family Viya Fitness and Leisure pass courtesy of Food Tech Valley to enjoy once the programme concludes, as well as inclusion in the Arab Youth Startup Marketplace cohort and access to Arab Youth Council partners. All startups that participated in the programme 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 Programme is a global, mentor-led accelerator programme that launched in MENA in November 2021. The first iteration, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Food Tech Valley, sought to identify regional startups with innovative solutions focused on sustainable packaging and recycling, driving forward PepsiCo Positive (pep+) goals to help build a circular and inclusive value chain. 

“Startups 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 Programme which recognises 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”, said Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

“The Greenhouse Accelerator programme is a significant milestone for PepsiCo as we work towards building a positive value chain and prioritising 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 programme edition as we work together to drive the circular economy agenda in the region. This is a great example of how open innovation and collaboration can create value for multiple stakeholders. We’re excited to see the positive change Nadeera will bring to sustainability in the region and look forward to creating opportunities for more promising startups through our upcoming Greenhouse Accelerator programme editions”, said Aamer Sheikh, CEO of Middle East – PepsiCo. 

“We’re beyond excited to have been selected as the winners of PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator Programme. We recognise we were up against a pool of exceptional regional startups 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 programme. As a startup in the sustainability sector, we are trying to overcome many hurdles. From changing consumer mindsets to overcoming challenges related to capital, resources, and networks – we have a long way to go. Thanks to the nature of the startup ecosystem in the region there is potential for more unicorns and the regulatory environment is more supportive than ever before. Multinational companies, the public sector, and startups have a lot to gain from each other, and we hope more programmes like PepsiCo’s Greenhouse Accelerator can bring us together and help foster a nurturing environment for groundbreaking innovation,” said Rabih El Chaar, CEO & Co-founder – Nadeera.

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